In QUICKSAND, Helga Crane is the lovely and refined mixed-race daughter of a Danish white mother and a West Indian black father. Her father died soon after she was born. Unable to feel comfortable with her European-American relatives, Crane lives in various places in the United States and visits Denmark, searching for people among whom she feels at home.
Nellallitea "Nella" Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, 1891 - March 30, 1964), was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. First working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels -- Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929) -- and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries. A revival of interest in her writing has occurred since the late 20th century, when issues of racial and sexual identity have been studied. Her works have been the subjects of numerous academic studies.