Imitation, Racialization, and Interpretive Norms: Nella Larsen's "Plagiarized" Story in The Forum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Nella Larsen was one of the most promising young writers of the Harlem Renaissance when her story “Sanctuary” appeared in The Forum in January 1930. It proved to be her last publication. Readers soon wrote to the journal, noting the similarities between “Sanctuary” and “Mrs. Adis,” a story by the popular British writer Sheila Kaye-Smith.¹ As scholars have increasingly acknowledged, these similarities go beyond structure, plot, and theme to verbal echoes that indicate a direct connection between the two texts. When Larsen’s work began to be reclaimed for literary study in the 1970s and 1980s, and especially since Anna Brickhouse’s...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgainst a Sharp White Background
Subtitle of host publicationInfrastructures of African American Print
EditorsJonathan Senchyne , Brigitte Fielder
PublisherUniversity of Wisconsin Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780299321536
ISBN (Print)9780299321505
StatePublished - May 2019

Publication series

NameThe History of Print and Digital Culture
PublisherUniversity of Wisconsin Press


  • American literature
  • 1900-1999
  • Larsen, Nella (1893-1963)
  • 'Sanctuary'
  • short story
  • African American women writers
  • The Forum (1886-1930)
  • paratext
  • racism
  • black-white relations
  • plagiarism
  • Kaye-Smith, Sheila (1887-1956)
  • 'Mrs. Adis'
  • English literature


Dive into the research topics of 'Imitation, Racialization, and Interpretive Norms: Nella Larsen's "Plagiarized" Story in The Forum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this