Like most of us in our twenties, Helga Crane, our American heroine and teacher in the rural South; is filled with the desire to be more than she is and to feel the world more intensely. She therefore dismisses her native Chicago, New York's Harlem, Copenhagen even. She also passes on opportunities for extended family, for marriage, and for true love. What is always latent in this truly remarkable work; is how much the background of 1920's American racial segregation defines Helga's malaise, and how much - paradoxically - is of her own doing.
The title of this novel is tragically appropriate: Living in a country with so much unresolved tensions, so much injustice and hypocrisy and violence could very well feel like walking in quicksand.
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