The paths of two light-skinned African American women converge in this revelatory masterpiece from Harlem Renaissance icon Nella Larsen.
A chance meeting reunites Irene Redfield and Clare Kendry, estranged friends who have long been separated by their ambitions. Since losing touch, Irene has become a wife and mother in Harlem, where she remains closely connected to her racial heritage. The seductive Clare, however, now “passes,” enjoying the privileges of white society while hiding her roots from the world, including her rich (and racist) husband. Despite the risks, the two friends seem to come ever closer together—motivated by an intoxicating blend of envy, curiosity, and desire—until there remains very little room for secrets at all.
Set against the backdrop of 1920s New York, Passing offers a taut and compelling drama along with deep insights into questions of race, class, sexuality, and gender.
Revised edition: Previously published as Passing, this edition of Passing (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.