Nella Larsen was born in Chicago, Illinois to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Walker who were Danish West Indies immigrants. Later on as Mr. Parker moved away, Mrs. Peter married Mr. Larsen and from then on Nella changed her surname to Larsen. As the family was an immigrant from the West Indies they always faced the racial discrimination in the country which leads her thoughts to fight against this. She faced situations where they aren’t allowed to the churches and few areas are restricted for the blacks.
The Afro America woman Author Nella Larsen completed her schooling in Fisk University, in Tennessee which is a historic university for the blacks. In her early years she started working in a nursing school in New York which is the Lincoln’s Hospital where all the doctors were male whites and all other nurses were female blacks. Some way or the other she had to face the abuses by the whites for being a black.
In 1915 after graduating from the school of nursing she worked in Alabama. The author scored good in the civil service exam and was hired by the Bureau as a public servant. The author was married to Elmer Imes a famous physics of that time.
Nella Larsen started her career as a writer from 1920’s where she has published her first short stories. Her career was completely a roller coaster ride both personally and professionally. After ending her marriage she left the profession of writing and the literature world to become the nurse once she was. Though she has worked as a librarian, the zeal in her to be a writer made her to give up the job and started writing her first novel in 1926 Quick Stand.
The Novelist writings included thoughts against racism, which were most of her real life experienced and fiction. She became a writer active in Harlem`s interracial literary and arts community this boosted her confidence to become a writer which she opted as a profession. Her two books are mentioned below. Her first work is based on her real life experiences. It received a critical acclaim in the literature world although it could not well in the terms of financial returns. Her second work represents the common figure in early African-American literature after the American civil war. Her second work Passing has received greater attention as it subjects the racial and sexual ambiguities. The short stories also depict the typical theme of her writing which is about the racial abuse as she has experienced a lot in her real life. The author left to the stars at her 72 years of age in the year 1964.
- The Quicksand in 1928
- Passing in 1929 Short Stories
- Three Scandinavian Games in 1920
- Danish Fun in 1920.
- Freedom in 1926
- The Wrong Man in 1926
- Correspondence in 1926.
- Review of Black Spade in 1929
- Sanctuary in 1930
- The Authors Explanation in 1930