'Beautiful White Girlhood'? Daisy Buchanan in Nella Larsen's 'Passing'
African American Review
Johns Hopkins University Press
© 2014 Johns Hopkins University Press and Saint Louis University
This article expands recent scholarship on race in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and intertextuality in Nella Larsen’s Passing by arguing that the latter is a “blackened” version of Gatsby. Mapping the genealogy of Passing, from Gatsby through Larsen’s first published work of fiction, “The Wrong Man” (1926), it proposes that Larsen’s allusions to Fitzgerald’s novel work to destabilize radically any secure sense of Daisy Buchanan’s whiteness by linking her quite emphatically with Clare Kendry. By reading Passing in this way, the article also reveals the extent to which Larsen built covert engagements with reading, writing and authorship into a text thematically preoccupied with looking, seeing and interpreting.
African American Review, 2014, Vol. 47, Number 1, pp. 37 - 49