Passing, Nella Larsen

This incredible short novel by Nella Larsen tells of two friends who have lost touch and seen their lives diverge, one joining the vibrant black community in Harlem, the other marrying a white man and immersing herself in his world; published in 1929, it explores the meaning of passing for white in segregated America. The book, available in full on, simmers and builds to a stunning conclusion that's hard to shake.