My interest to search out female African-American authors has been a long-time, though neglected wish, to know more about their contributions to and role in the literary world. Writers Quote Wednesday 2015 has helped me to fulfill this wish and for this I am grateful.
Larsen, a fiction novelist, is the first African-American female author to win a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In her short-lived career, she published:
- Two BooksPassingQuicksand; and
- Four StoriesFreedomQuicksand
- The Wrong Man
Charles Larson, edited Larsen’s literary works; and, published the book, “The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen”; which, I am currently reading.
Her life story is a sad one — emotional abandonment by parents, controversial divorce, and accusations of plagiarism. The plagiarism allegations, in 1930, related to her last story, “Sanctuary”. Following this, she gave up writing and returned to her career as a nurse.
According to Black History Now,
“Her value to American literature is continually growing. Today, many critics consider her to be the greatest novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, and her work continues to be read nationally and internationally.”
Born on April 13, 1891, in Chicago, Illinois, Larsen died alone on March 30, 1964 in her New York Apartment.
6 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday 2015k”
What a poor tortured soul! Do you know if the plagiarism was aimed at her because she was a black writer? I do love the quote. It is fitting and true. Thank you for sharing this fine author with us. My to read list is growing out of control! 🙂 ❤
Whether race was played a role is still a question that I have. Although, racial and cultural differences portrayed in the two works was used as an argument against the plagiarism charges.
Kelli A. Larson, University of St. Thomas, “Surviving the Taint of Plagiarism: Nella Larsen’s ‘Sanctuary” and Sheila Kaye-Smith’s ‘Mrs. Adis,” writes, “In recasting Kaye-Smith’s original tale of the trials of the British Class to depict the racial, social and economic barriers of the American South, Larsen engaged in a widely recognized literary mode particularly common to African-American theater of the period.”
Thanks to Writers Quote Wednesday 2015, my space is expanding; and, I feel comfortable with putting this down on paper for others to see — “Writing is what I do to speak my voice, — learning about African-American authors is what I do to hear their voices.”
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Thank you dear Seasoned Sister for sharing this information with all of us. I want to know these things. The only way we can make the world a better place for our kids and grandkids is to ask these hard questions. I want you to always feel comfortable to say what you feel with us. I suspect that once again the plagiarism charges was another way to stop the education of blacks in the south. These are sad truths. Thank you again for giving me more perspective. ❤
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That is a sad story. I’m glad she is getting the recognition she deserves now as a major writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Thanks for your research and writing about Nella Larsen’s contribution to literature.
I appreciate your comments. And, seeking out African-American authors to expand my knowledge base of not only their contributions to the literary world as well as the trials and tribulations encountered by many of them.
Thank you for having me share this part of your world with you. I’m sad she died alone…so painful.