Nella Larsen is a central figure in African American, Modernist, and womenâ€™s literature. Larsen's status as a Harlem Renaissance woman writer was rivaled by only Zora Neale Hurstonâ€™s. This Norton Critical Edition of her electrifying 1929 novel includes Carla Kaplanâ€™s detailed and thought-provoking introduction, thorough explanatory annotations, and a Note on the Text. An unusually rich â€śBackground and Contextsâ€ť section connects the novel to the historical events of the day, most notably the sensational Rhinelander/Jones case of 1925. Fourteen contemporary reviews are reprinted, including those by Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Mary Griffin, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Published accounts from 1911 to 1935â€”by Langston Hughes, Juanita Ellsworth, and Caleb Johnson, among othersâ€”provide a nuanced view of the contemporary cultural dimensions of race and passing, both in America and abroad. Also included are Larsenâ€™s statements on the novel and on passing, as well as a generous selection of her letters and her central writings on â€śThe Tragic Mulatto(a)â€ť in American literature. Additional perspective is provided by related Harlem Renaissance works. â€śCriticismâ€ť provides fifteen diverse critical interpretations, including those by Mary Helen Washington, Cheryl A. Wall, Deborah E. McDowell, David L. Blackmore, Kate Baldwin, and Catherine Rottenberg. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.