Mirage (lost Nella Larsen novel; early 1930s)

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Nella Larsen in 1928.

Status: Lost

Mirage is an unpublished novel by American author Nella Larsen (1891-1964).

After the success of her first two novels, Quicksand and Passing, Larsen became the first black woman to receive a Guggenheim fellowship. With her earnings, she spent a year in southern Europe writing what would become Mirage. It was rejected by her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, and the manuscript has since been lost, along with those of two other novels she would later write.

According to the readers report that accompanied the rejection, Mirage was to be about "a woman whose second husband turns out to be still in love with his first wife by whom he has a child", who tries and fails to win back her husband's affection. It was deemed "a conventional triangle story, except for the ending", which was noted as being "very well done".


Larsen, Nella. The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen. Edited by Charles R. Larson, Anchor Books, 2001.