Tuesday, March 09, 2021 (12 days before the First Day of Spring)
During February’s Black History Month, I was in the middle of works by two talented black authors, Zora Neal Hurston and Isabell Wilkerson. I’ve read some of the great black writers from the 1920’s and 30’s Harlem Renaissance. February’s focus encouraged me to expand my repertoire. It’s embarrassing to admit not already having read several significant contemporary authors. Full disclosure: I ordered books by Maya Angelo and Toni Morrison, and yes, ought to be beaten by a wet noodle.
Anyway, days ago arrived a book I couldn’t recall ordering. Maybe a bonus book from one source or another? It reprints two stories by an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. The writer, Nella Larsen (born in 1891), who was recognized by her contemporaries, quit writing after assuming a nursing career. Before that, while working as a librarian, she managed to publish two novels and some short stories.
Yesterday, an email from the New York Times reminded me of its online book club meeting this afternoon, to discuss Larsen’s book, PASSING. Oy vey, that’s why I ordered the book, still unread and now stuck in a “someday stack”. I want to participate in the book club, and early today assisted by coffee I started reading. Larsen’s style of writing doesn’t immediately draw me in, but her story becomes captivating.
I’ll read like crazy to finish PASSING before today’s early (my time) meeting. Ms. Larsen’s story snags my attention, and the book club’s leader is scholarly. I hope to comprehend more her literary impact, to know better what places her among the great Harlem Renaissance writers, of talent, that to this day astonish readers.
Thank you, Black History Month!
Dear Friends: So much to do and so little time for so much worthy of learning. Diana