Research Catalog

Nella Larsen Letters,

Title
Nella Larsen Letters, 1928.
Author
Larsen, Nella.
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folder 1Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 407 folder 1Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives

Details

Description
2 letters.
Donor/Sponsor
Schomburg NEH Automated Access to Special Collections Project.
Subjects
Source (note)
  • McBlain Books
Biography (note)
  • Nella Larsen, Harlem Renaissance writer, librarian and nurse.
Processing Action (note)
  • Accessioned
  • Processed
Call Number
Sc MG 407
Author
Larsen, Nella.
Title
Nella Larsen Letters, 1928.
Summary
The Nella Larsen Letters consist of two letters written by this author to Edward Wasserman and deal with the most spectacular African American social event of the decade, the 1928 wedding of Countee Cullen and W.E.B. DuBois' daughter, Yolande. The incompatible couple was divorced in 1930.
The letters pertain to a pre-nuptial party Larsen gave at her home, to which Wasserman was invited. Larsen also mentions a review of her book, "Quicksand."
Biography
Nella Larsen, Harlem Renaissance writer, librarian and nurse. She was born in Chicago in 1893 to a white Danish mother and a black West Indian father. Two years later, after her father died, her mother married a Dane. Educated in Chicago, at sixteen Larsen travelled to Denmark and remained for three years. After a year of study at Fisk University, she attented the University of Copenhagen, and later returned to the United States where she graduated from the Lincoln Hospital Training Program in New York (1915). Larsen married Elmer S. Imes, an African American physicist in 1919, and became associated with the cultural awakening in Harlem, known as the Harlem Renaissance. From 1921-1926 she worked as a children's librarian at the 135 Street Branch of the New York Public Library.
Larsen's first short story was published in 1926, and her two novels quickly followed: "Quicksand" (1928) and "Passing" (1929). The following year she became the first African American woman to win a Guggenheim award for creative writing. Her books are autobiographical in nature, dealing with identity and marginality and explore the consciousness and psychology of female character. An unsubstantiated charge of plagiarism and her divorce in 1933 ended Larsen's career as one of the Harlem Renaissance's major novelists. Her nursing career began in 1941 and she worked as a nurse in several hospitals in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Larsen died in relative obscurity in 1964.
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Added Title
Schomburg NEH Automated Access to Special Collections Project.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 407
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