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Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by O, the Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Vogue, PureWow, New York Magazine and more “Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin and Jacqueline Woodson, but it’s especially reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s 1970 debut novel, The Bluest Eye.”—Kiley Reid, Wall Street Journal “A page-turner.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Sure to be one of 2020's best and boldest.” –Elle
From TheNew York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
About the Author
Brit Bennett is the author of the New York Times–bestselling novel The Mothers; a finalist for the NBCC John Leonard Prize for the best first book, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award; and a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.
Praise for The Vanishing Half: "I don't think I've read a book that covers passing in the way that this one does . . epic."--Kiley Reid in O the Oprah Magazine
“Not to be missed.” —Harper’s Bazaar
“Here, in her sensitive, elegant prose, [Bennett] evokes both the strife of racism, and what it does to a person even if they can evade some of its elements.”— Vogue
“This is sure to be one of 2020’s best and boldest… A tale of family, identity, race, history, and perception, Bennett’s next masterpiece is a triumph of character-driven narrative.” – Elle
“A page-turner about once-inseparable twin girls now living radically different lives.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
"Worth an early pre-order. It's a curvy, looping story… a fitting complement to her debut book, 2017's The Mothers. I gobbled this up.” – Bustle
"Reflecting and refracting her story via the four related women—sisters, cousins, mothers, daughters—at its heart, and with an irresistible narrative voice, Bennett (The Mothers, 2016) writes an intergenerational epic of race and reinvention, love and inheritance, divisions made and crossed, binding trauma, and the ever-present past." – Booklist, STARRED Review
"Assured and magnetic. . .Bennett is deeply engaged in the unknowability of other people and the scourge of colorism…calls up Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, the book's 50-year-old antecedent. . . . [a] rich, sharp story about the way identity is formed."—Kirkus, STARRED review
"Impressive … Bennett renders her characters and their struggles with great compassion, and explores the complicated state of mind that Stella finds herself in while passing as white. This prodigious follow-up surpasses Bennett’s formidable debut." –Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
“The detail and the feeling showcased in every sentence Brit Bennett writes is breath taking. The Vanishing Half is a novel that shows just how human emotion, uncertainty and longing can be captured and put on paper.” – Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie "A novel of immense, shining, powerful intelligence.” –Deborah Levy, two-time Booker shortlisted novelist
“An impressive and arresting novel. Perceptive in its insights and poised in execution, this is an important, timely examination of the impact of race on personality, experience and relationships.” – Diana Evans, the Orange Award winning author of Ordinary People “The Vanishing Half should mark the induction of Brit Bennett into the small group of likely successors to Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nella Larsen..” – Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton
“The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel, which gripped me from the first word to the last. It seduces with its literary flair, surprises with its breath-taking plot twists, delights with its psychological insights, and challenges us to consider the corrupting consequences of racism on different communities and individual lives. I absolutely loved this book.” — Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize winning author of Girl, Woman, Other