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Medium

Quicksand
by Nella Larsen | Mystery & Thrillers
Registered by wingperryfranwing of North Ogden, Utah USA on Friday, August 21, 2009
Average 6 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by angela861): travelling


This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!

19 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by wingperryfranwing from North Ogden, Utah USA on Friday, August 21, 2009

This book has not been rated.

I found this book on PaperbackSwap.com after recently reading PASSING by Nella Larsen.

Product Description
Brave, bold, and brilliant, this ground-breaking first novel is the work of one of the Harlem Renaissance's most influential and enduring writers. Larsen's autobiographical portrait of a biracial woman's quest for self-identity and acceptance offers a cautionary tale of an individual lost between two cultures.

About the Author
Nella Larsen (1891-1964) was the author of two novels and several short stories. She received a Guggenheim fellowship to write a third novel in 1930 but, unable to find a publisher for it, she disappeared from the literary scene and worked as a nurse. See more about Nella Larsen here.

This is also No. 681 on the 1001 books you must read before you die list. 


Journal Entry 2 by wingperryfranwing from North Ogden, Utah USA on Wednesday, October 07, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Bookray
Starting a bookray for this book. Please PM me if interested in joining. Bookray will remain open until last person has the book.

Participants so far:

. mafarrimond from UK (EU preferred)
. Danielle23 from UK (UK preferred)
. kingfan30 from UK (EU preferred)
. Caroley from UK (EU preferred)
. EmgeeNL from Netherlands (EU preferred)

. Jozebedee from UK (UK preferred - will ship EU)
. pinkydinky from UK (International if needed)
. fushmush from UK/Australia (International if needed)

Note: Order is subject to change based on shipping preferences and others joining the bookray.

How the bookray works:
* Someone will PM you for your address, PM them back and provide your address
* When you receive the book, please make a journal entry letting everyone know that you received it
* Put the book at the top of your TBR pile (under other rings/rays that arrived first)
* Read the book (take your time and enjoy the book, don't feel rushed to finish it but try to get it out to next reader within a couple of months)
* When the end is in sight, check the book's journal and PM the next person to get their address
* Finish the book, make another journal entry and let everyone know what you thought of the book
* Send the book to the next person on the list (please use the cheapest shipping method available), make release notes (Controlled Release) or journal entry to let everyone know that it's in the mail
* Last person on the ray: Please either donate the book to the 1001-library or pass it on to another bookcrosser as a RABCK, etc.

Please feel free to PM me at any time with questions


Bookray is now completed. Thanks everyone for participating! Fushmush is continuing this ray. See JE 25 below.
 


Journal Entry 3 by wingperryfranwing from North Ogden, Utah USA on Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8 out of 10

I thought this short novel was excellent! It is a superb study of a complicated and appealing woman, Helga Crane, who, like Larsen herself, is the product of a liaison between a black man and a white woman. The story is often very tragic - when Helga was young, her black father had left her and her white mother who remarried a white man. Helga basically had no identity. Her mother's brother had always been sympathetic to Helga but when Helga returned from teaching in a black college in the South, her Uncle's new wife wanted nothing to do with her - she didn't consider Helga to be their niece since Helga's father was black. The story goes on to chronicle Helga's experiences in the Harlem of the 1920s and then in Denmark where she visits her Danish aunt and family. Helga is never able to find what she is looking for. I read Larsen's other novel "Passing" a few months ago and as much as I liked that work, I believe "Quicksand" is even better and more thought-provoking. High recommendation. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingperryfranwing at Bookray, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (10/13/2009 UTC) at Bookray, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending to mafarrimond in the UK to start this bookray. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 5 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, October 29, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Received today. Will read and send on. 


Journal Entry 6 by mafarrimond from Hawarden, Wales United Kingdom on Thursday, November 05, 2009

8 out of 10

Rich and powerful writing. Insightful and thought-provoking. 


Journal Entry 7 by Danielle23 from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Saturday, November 14, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely on my doorstep this morning, thank you xx 


Journal Entry 8 by Danielle23 from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 18, 2009

7 out of 10

I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I disliked Helga a little. She was too flighty for my taste although I did have a huge amount of sympathy for her at the end of the book.

Will be off to the next reader soon, thanks for sharing perryfran xx 


Journal Entry 9 by Danielle23 at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, November 23, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (11/23/2009 UTC) at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to the next in line xx 


Journal Entry 10 by kingfan30 from Corby Glen, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Friday, November 27, 2009

6 out of 10

Book has arrived safe and sound. In typical in style I have not had any rings or rays for months and have had several turn up in the space of a couple of weeks. They are all fairly small ones so hopefully it wont be to long till I get round to this. Thanks for including me x

30 Dec 09 - I started off feeling sorry for Helga and ended up finding her very frustrating. A thought provoking book though. 


Journal Entry 11 by kingfan30 at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Monday, January 04, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (1/4/2010 UTC) at Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to Caroly 


Journal Entry 12 by Caroley from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 06, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Received today thanks. 


Journal Entry 13 by Caroley from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, January 07, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I enjoyed this one but didn't feel much sympathy for Helga. I do feel she brought most of her misfortune upon herself. I thought it was a very good read, and equally as good as Passing by the same author.

Thanks for sharing it with us perryfran.

I've PMd EmgeeNL and as soon as I have an address I'll get the book on its way. 


Journal Entry 14 by Caroley at Birmingham, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Friday, January 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (1/8/2010 UTC) at Birmingham, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Posted airmail to EmgeeNL. 


Journal Entry 15 by EmgeeNL from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived. It's on my TBr for now 


Journal Entry 16 by EmgeeNL from Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, February 17, 2010

7 out of 10

I found ita sad story about a woman who is looking for a place/community where she feels at home. At one hand I disliked the maincaracter, Helga, because she never seemed to be satisfied with what she's got. At the other hand being a child of a black father and a white mother in the United States around the 1920's is probably not easy. And therefor I can sympathize with her.

I have PM'ed the next one for their address. 


Journal Entry 17 by EmgeeNL at controlled release, a controlled release -- Controlled Releases on Friday, February 19, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (2/18/2010 UTC) at controlled release, a controlled release -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book is on it's way to the next reader 


Journal Entry 18 by Jozebedee from Nantwich, Cheshire United Kingdom on Saturday, February 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Received today - thanks for sending EmgeeNL! And thanks again perryfran for including me in another of your great bookrays! :) I have a couple of books before this but they are small so shouldn't take me too long to get to it. 


Journal Entry 19 by Jozebedee from Nantwich, Cheshire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 14, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I found this easy to read, and quite an engaging story. Like other readers here, I felt both sympathy and annoyance with the character of Helga Crane. I also found the introduction about the author Nella Larsen, quite fascinating in the way her story almost mirrors that of her character Helga - this is almost an autobiographical account of her life spent seeking the acceptance of others and finding her place in life.
Thanks again perryfran for including me. Sending off to pinkydinky next. 


Journal Entry 20 by Jozebedee at -- Controlled release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, March 15, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (3/15/2010 UTC) at -- Controlled release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent second class today. Enjoy! :) 


Journal Entry 21 by pinkydinky from Melksham, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today. Going to the top of MTBR. 


Journal Entry 22 by pinkydinky from Melksham, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Saturday, March 27, 2010

8 out of 10

Helga is stuck between two worlds. Not really feeling at home in either. She is neither black nor white and is surrounded by people who remind her of this. There are one or two incidents that really remind her of this such as the uncle's wife telling her she's not really family. Also there was one point in the book where she seemed to be almost invisible. After lurching from one community to the next the ending is incredibly sad.

Have PM'd fushmush. 


Journal Entry 23 by pinkydinky at Melksham, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 4 yrs ago (3/30/2010 UTC) at Melksham, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent to fushmush today. 


Journal Entry 24 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, April 08, 2010

This book has not been rated.

It has arrived. I have two bookrays ahead of it. 


Journal Entry 25 by fushmush from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, May 07, 2010

6 out of 10

Like others, at first I didn’t have much sympathy for Helga. I agreed with others that she seemed flighty and why couldn’t she just be happy with what she had? But by the end I did begin to empathise with Helga’s situation. Half white, half black Helga didn’t seem to fit wholly into any of the worlds that she belonged to.

She leaves Naxos in a fit of anger because she is told that as a woman from respectable black stock she must stay as a role model. In Denmark she was treated as an exotic collectable. Finally she ends up in the deep South where she is told that she must be satisfied with the life of perpetually squeezing out kids. She has a pair of healthy strapping twin boys, and then a delicate little girl and then her last child is a sickly thing her dies after a week. It’s like life is being sucked out of her. The book ends on a very depressing note with her pregnant with a 5th child even before she has a chance to recover.


Continuing bookray:
TQD (Sydney, international)
Cally-c (UK, Europe preferred) 


Journal Entry 26 by tqd from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, May 22, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Turned up in the mailbox today. A wet day in Sydney, but it escaped the downpour and is now safely inside. Thanks FuShMuSh!

I've got a couple of rings ahead of this one, so will get to it in a little while. 


Journal Entry 27 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, November 27, 2010

8 out of 10

Quicksand was a fascinating depiction of a woman who can't fit in. Much like Nella Larsen herself, Helga Crane is a black woman, brought up unhappily in a white family (her mother is white, her black father is no longer around, and her mother has remarried a white man). Some of the references to her childhood were heartbreaking, knowing that Larsen was writing from her life. Helga Crane is not a very likeable character - far too prickly and difficult - but a fascinating character.

Helga finds it difficult to fit in with white people (with her obviously black ancestry), but also finds it difficult to fit into the black community. She has a fascinating friendship with a black woman, Anne, who is very concerned with the "race issue" (which I think is one of those very multi-faceted issues, because I couldn't pin it down to one particular aspect!). This lack of being able to identify with other people, for Helga, leads to her tragic ending.

I have Cally-c's address already, and will get this one in the post to her asap! Sorry it's spent so long here in the meantime! 


Journal Entry 28 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (12/1/2010 UTC) at Sydney, New South Wales Australia

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

And it's in the post to cally-c, on a miserable wet Sydney day!

Happy reading! 


Journal Entry 29 by wingcally-cwing at Alfreton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Saturday, December 11, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning - I'll read it next. 


Journal Entry 30 by wingcally-cwing at Alfreton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 11, 2011

7 out of 10

Not quite sure whether I liked this one or not. I didn't feel much sympathy for Helga until the end of the book. I thought the way she upped & left her job, fiance & home at the beginning of book showed a lack of consideration for others, but then felt more sympathy as she was treated like a curiosity in Denmark.
Interesting, thought-provoking read though. 


Journal Entry 31 by wingcally-cwing at Alfreton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Offering as a Bookray.

Participants so far:
shovelmonkey1 (UK - UK/EU)
lucy-lemon (UK - UK)
Rach-489 (UK - EU)
lamelemon (EU - EU)
Simson-Shilitoe (EU - Int'l)
oppem (US - US pref)
ChiBoiler (US - Int'l) 


Journal Entry 32 by wingcally-cwing at Alfreton, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 08, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (2/8/2011 UTC) at Alfreton, Derbyshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to shovelmonkey1 in the post today. 


Journal Entry 33 by shovelmonkey1 at Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Thursday, February 10, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Received this today and it's arrived at just the right moment as I will be finished my current book - The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - by this evening so I can get started on this straight away. Thanks for including me in this ring and putting me top of the list! 


Journal Entry 34 by shovelmonkey1 at Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

7 out of 10

For some reason I got an immediate mental block with this book after the first two pages. I picked it up and then put it down again about three times and never got further than page three. Why? Absolutely no idea. Anyway I finally made a full on effort to get on and read it (achieved by doing a two hour train commute and taking no netbook or other reading material) and finished it in under 24 hours. Helga Crane does come across as an unlikeable character but I think if you consider the context of her life and her experiences (abandoned because of the colour of her skin, pigeon-holed, poor and unsure of which culture she belongs to) then she had every right to feel angry and defensive. Her situation and her heritage (White Danish Mother, Black West Indian Father)led to her effectively being viewed with a mixture of scorn, suspicion and pity by both white middle class american society and Harlem Society. Her own anger in return was just a way of protecting herself from the way she knew she would be judged. While I did enjoy this story, in the end it will be the three page introduction which impacted me the most. Nella Larsen herself had a lonely and isolated life and this book really tells a story about her. 


Journal Entry 35 by shovelmonkey1 at Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (3/17/2011 UTC) at Liverpool, Merseyside United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Now travelling to Lucy-lemon. Happy reading. 


Journal Entry 36 by lucy-lemon at Llandudno, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Arrived the day before yesterday. I started reading it in the gym, and had to put it down because I kept stopping! I'm almost finished, so I'm messaging the next person on the list. So far, I'm really enjoying the book. 


Journal Entry 37 by Rach-489 at Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 20, 2011

5 out of 10

Arrived yesterday, thanks so much for sending and for sharing.

Ok it has taken me a while with this one, I just couldnt get into it. Despite being a short book thats relatively simple, I just didn't connect with any of the characters or hold any interest for what happened to them. I will be PM'ing Lamelemon to pass this on. 


Journal Entry 38 by Rach-489 at Woking, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, May 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (5/13/2011 UTC) at Woking, Surrey United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Posted yesterday so should be arriving pretty soon. Hope you enjoy! 


Journal Entry 39 by lamelemon at București, Wallachia Romania on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Picked up this morning from the post office, thanks Rach-489 and cally-c. This book seems intriguing and the many different reviews are enough for me to start reading it as soon as possible.

[Later edit, May 31st]
What started as an easy read soon got to be a little fastidious. I couldn't bond with Helga and never realized why she kept restraining herself from every little bit of pleasure and well being she could find about. Whenever things seem to be going the right way for her, she makes up her mind to look for something new and every time it's worse off than she started. I can understand that sexist and racist prejudice are challenging for her epoch, but I can't figure out why she torments herself even more and punishes herself for things no one's guilty of.

I am however glad to have read this one and will ship it tomorrow morning right between France and Germany, to Simson-Shilitoe. 


Journal Entry 40 by lamelemon at A bookray, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, June 01, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (6/1/2011 UTC) at A bookray, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

off to Simson-Shilitoe. Thanks everyone for sharing this book with me :) 


Journal Entry 41 by Simson-Shilitoe at Neewiller-près-Lauterbourg, Alsace France on Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived safe and sound in today`s mail.

It will be my next book to read because it should be a shorter story than Willem Elsschot`s "Cheese".

Thank You "cally-c" for including me in this bookring this time because the first trial was not successful for me and two other participants last year.

And Thank You "lamelemon" for posting, for the nice written picture-postcard from Romania and especially for the stamps from your country. 


Journal Entry 42 by Simson-Shilitoe at Neewiller-près-Lauterbourg, Alsace France on Friday, July 01, 2011

5 out of 10

A review by Kimberly Monda (http://findarticles.com):

Nella Larsen's portrait of Helga Crane in Quicksand (1928) criticizes the ways in which white racist constructions of black women's allegedly inherent lasciviousness have cut black women off from experiencing their legitimate sexual desires. Helga fears her desires because they seem to confirm stereotypes about black peoples' "primitivism" and "savagery." The first part of this essay treats Larsen's criticism of the sexual self-sacrifice of repression, a repression that stems from both white society's distortion of black peoples' sexuality as "savage" and from Helga's equally damaging family dynamics. The child of a black father who abandoned his family shortly after she was born and a Scandinavian immigrant mother, Helga associates her mother's coldness and rejection with their racial difference. Karen Nilssen's failure to grant her daughter the recognition that would help her gain access to herself as an active subject helps explain Helga's emotional repression as an adult.

The second part of this essay examines Helga's attempt to escape the self-sacrifice of emotional and sexual repression by quitting racist America for the liberal environs of Denmark and the affection of her dead mother's sister, Katrina Dahl. Helga channels her unacknowledged sexuality into the pleasures of consumeristic purchasing and self-display as the wealthy Dahls dress her in gorgeous clothes and show off her "exotic" beauty to their friends. Larsen uncovers the objectification at the heart of consumerism, exposing Helga's experience of desire and agency as illusory. This objectification returns her to the white constructions of black "primitivism" she had fled Harlem to escape. Helga finally seems to elude the tangle of cultural and psychological pressures that demand her sexual and emotional repression, however, when she rejects Axel Olsen's marriage proposal, thus repudiating both the Danish packaging of her exoticism as well as the distant mother who failed to recognize her. This symbolic rejection of her mother allows Helga to identify with her unknown and formerly reviled black father, an identification that permits her to gain temporary access to her subjectivity and, when she returns to Harlem, to acknowledge her long-repressed desire for Dr. Anderson.


Posting to "oppem" as soon as I get an address. 


Journal Entry 43 by Simson-Shilitoe at Rülzheim, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany on Monday, July 04, 2011

5 out of 10

Released 2 yrs ago (7/4/2011 UTC) at Rülzheim, Rheinland-Pfalz Germany

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book is now on its journey to Oregon. Happy journey and I hope you will like the book and the story, oppem. 


Journal Entry 44 by wingoppemwing at Hermiston, Oregon USA on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This book has not been rated.

What a lovely surprise to receive this book in the mail today. Thank you so much Simson Shilitoe for posting and also the extra surprise of some wonderful chocolate - have no fear both will be well enjoyed. 


Journal Entry 45 by wingoppemwing at Hermiston, Oregon USA on Saturday, July 30, 2011

6 out of 10

Just finished reading this not very long novel by Nella Larsen.
I confess to not having heard of her before reading this book but feel that will now look out for her other book, "Passing".
Like many other reader's before me, I was torn between all consuming sympathy for Helga & annoyance at her inability to find even a shred of contentment in her life.
I did a little research on Nella / Quicksand & found the book to be 'loosley autobiographical'.... from that point on I had a tremendous amount of sympathy for Nella and what a horrendous life she must have had in 1920 America ...
Nella / Helga was tormented trying to find out just where she belonged in society - neither white or black.... a whole life spent just trying to find out who she was & where she fit in... so very, very sad.
All in all for me not a 'great read' but a very interesting one.... 


Journal Entry 46 by wingoppemwing at Chicago, Illinois USA on Sunday, July 31, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (8/1/2011 UTC) at Chicago, Illinois USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Posting this book to next reader in Chicago... hope you enjoy the read. 


Journal Entry 47 by ChiBoiler at Chicago, Illinois USA on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I have received this book and have already started to read it. I should finish it soon! 


Journal Entry 48 by ChiBoiler at Chicago, Illinois USA on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

5 out of 10

I have finished this book. Like others before me, I found the main character to be a bit annoying (I find this is a trend among many 1001 books). I did feel that she was her own worst enemy - the only reason she was always unhappy was because she really didn't want to be happy. She received so many chances and opportunities that others in her same situation would only dream of - and she continued looking for the next best thing.

The book was a short, quick read. I realized after I started it that I am the last on the list for the bookray - I will pass this on to a few local 1001 readers and then one of us will
"ray it forward"

Thanks for sharing!!!
 


Journal Entry 49 by ChiBoiler at Chicago, Illinois USA on Saturday, August 20, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (8/20/2011 UTC) at Chicago, Illinois USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Will attempt to release to angela861 this weekend! 


Journal Entry 50 by angela861 at Chicago, Illinois USA on Monday, August 29, 2011

This book has not been rated.

TBR 


Journal Entry 51 by angela861 at Chicago, Illinois USA on Thursday, October 27, 2011

This book has not been rated.

I totally agree w/ many others. Helga was her own worst enemy. She was annoying and I just wanted to yell, 'Snap out of it, woman!'. I did find myself drawn into the story. This was a super quick read.

I'm passing this on to another local BC member.

Thanks for sharing!! 


Journal Entry 52 by angela861 at Chicago, Illinois USA on Sunday, February 05, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (2/5/2012 UTC) at Chicago, Illinois USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Off to ChiBoiler... 




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