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Nella' Larsen (first called Nellie Walker) (1891- 1964) was a black American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance who wrote two novels, of which Passing is her best-known. Though her literary output was scant, what she wrote earned her recognition by her contemporaries and by present-day critics. Passing was first published in 1929 but has received renewed attention because of its close examination of racial & sexual ambiguities. It has achieved canonical status in many American universities.