By Charles R. Larson

Invisible Darkness bargains a remarkable interpretation of the tortured lives of the 2 significant novelists of the Harlem Renaissance: Jean Toomer, writer of Cane (1923), and Nella Larsen, writer of Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929). Charles R. Larson examines the typical trust that either writers "disappeared" after the Harlem Renaissance and died in obscurity; he dispels the misunderstanding that they vanished into the white international and lived unproductive and unrewarding lives.

In transparent, jargon-free language, Larson demonstrates the opposing perspectives that either writers had approximately their paintings vis-à-vis the incipient black arts stream; he strains every one writer's afflicted adolescence and describes the unresolved questions of race that haunted Toomer and Larsen all in their lives. Larson follows Toomer throughout the wreckage of his own lifestyles in addition to the years of his more and more quirky non secular quest until eventually his dying in a nursing domestic in 1967. utilizing formerly unpublished letters and files, Larson establishes for the 1st time the main points of Larsen's lifestyles, illustrating that just about each released truth approximately her lifestyles is incorrect.

With an cutting edge chronology that breaks the conventions of the normal biographical shape, Larson narrates what occurred to either of those writers in the course of their meant years of withdrawal. He demonstrates that Nella Larsen by no means fairly gave up her struggle for artistic and private success and that Jean Toomer's connection to the Harlem Renaissance—and the black world—is at top a doubtful one. This robust revisionist interpretation of 2 significant writers may have a significant i mpact on African American literary studies.

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