In search of nella larsen is three books in one in the words of the subtitle it is a biography of the color line a study of official racism it also incorporates a lively history of the harlem renaissance and most engagingly it is a record of the hunt for a significant literary figure who slipped into oblivion at the moment she should have been making the most of her modest but genuine success two well received novels garlanded by awards including a guggenheim fellowship . In search of nella larsen a biography of the color line in search of nella larsen born to a danish seamstress and a black west indian cook in one of the western hemispheres most infamous vice. Book review in search of nella larsen is more than a life story george hutchinson subtitled it a biography of the color line and while accumulating all that can be known about nella larsen herself he also documents the larger and more painful picture of what it meant to be biracial in america in the early part of the 20th century how america viewed and views race. In his search for nella larsen george hutchinson exposes the truths and half truths surrounding her as well as the complex reality they mask and mirror his book is a cultural biography of the color line as it was lived by one person who truly embodied all of its ambiguities and complexities
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