This book is a modern reprint of Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel "Passing." True first edition copies of Larsen’s novels are extremely difficult to collect. Although Larsen’s books were published by Alfred A. Kopf, one of the most distinguished publishing houses of the time period, her books did not have large and frequent print runs during that time. Additionally, Larsen disappeared from the Harlem Renaissance scene due to a series of events that she faced, including her publisher’s disinterest in her third novel, the death of her estranged ex-husband in 1942, and financial instability. The bibliographic information at the front of the book acknowledges three printings that took place in 1929. The first and second printings of Passing end with Irene Redfield fainting. The final words of the novel conclude with, “Then everything was dark.” The third printing, however, gives the police officer the final word and ends with his comment, “Death by misadventure, I’m inclined to believe. Let’s go up and have another look at that window.” This reprint mirrors the first and second printings and does not include the final comment by the police officer.
The excerpt includes the front and back covers, front free endpaper with handwritten note, half-title page, title page, copyright page, dedication, epigraph, contents list, and the final page of the novel.
Larsen, Nella. "Passing." New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1929. Reprinted 1985 by AYER Company Publishing (Salem, NH).