Nella Larsen’s distinctive and revealing novel about racial identity set in New York in 1929. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga and Alexander Skarsgard.
Irene Redfield, married to a successful physician, enjoys a comfortable life in Harlem, New York. Reluctantly, she renews her friendship with old school friend, Clare Kendry. Clare, who like Irene is light skinned, ‘passes’ as white and is married to a racist white man who has no idea about Clare’s racial heritage. Even though Irene knows that reigniting her friendship with Clare will lead to trouble, she can’t resist allowing Irene into her world.
Irene in turn wants to rekindle her bonds with the African American community of her youth. As tensions mount between friends and between couples, this taut and mesmerizing narrative spins towards an unexpected end.