Heidi Durrow on PASSING

NPR’s monthly You Must Read This series on NPR’s All Things Considered, presents authors passionately recommending books they love.

Last night, Heidi Durrow, whose first novel The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is heavily reserved in many libraries, talked about one of her favorites, Passing, by Nella Larsen, a prominent writer during the Harlem Renaissance, who later died in obscurity.

Durrow, who is the daughter of an African American father and a Danish mother, says,

Passing is among my favorite books because it’s about being defined by what other people see and the desire to transcend that.

You may not identify with being a light-skinned African-American, but you have probably felt at some point that what was most important about you wasn’t visible.

The book is available in several editions, including this mass market paperback with a strikingly modern cover:

Nella Larsen
Retail Price: $6.99
Paperback: 84 pages
Publisher: Wilder Publications – (2010-02-25)
ISBN / EAN: 1604599944 / 9781604599947

And a trade paperback from Penguin, with a cover more reflective of the harlem Renaissance:

Passing (Penguin Classics)
Nella Larsen
Retail Price: $11.00
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Penguin Classics – (2003-02-04)
ISBN / EAN: 0142437271 / 9780142437278

One Response to “Heidi Durrow on PASSING”

  1. Wendy Bartlett Says:

    Ooh! Great find, Nora. Thanks! I’m picking this one up this morning!