A compelling story of cultural dislocation and one mixed-race woman's search for her place in the world. Born to an indifferent white mother and an absent black father, and scorned for her dark skin, Helga Crane has long had to fend for herself. As a young woman, Helga teaches at an all-black school in the South, but even here she feels different. Moving to Harlem and eventually to Denmark, she attempts to carve out a comfortable life and place for herself, but ends up back where she started, choosing emotional freedom that quickly translates into a narrow existence. Quicksand, Nella Larsen's powerful first novel, has intriguing autobiographical parallels and at the same time invokes the international dimension of African American culture in the 1920s. It also evocatively portrays the racial and gender restrictions that can mark a life.