The Vanishing Half

Front Cover
Penguin, 2020 - Fiction - 352 pages
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 2020s best and boldest." -Elle

From The New 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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nicx27 - LibraryThing

The Vanishing Half is a book with a fascinating concept that couldn't be more relevant at the current time. It's also a fantastic, complex and thought-provoking read. It has so many layers to it that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bogopea - LibraryThing

Novel about a set of black twin girls born in the south who were so light they could pass for being white. And that's what one of them did. They were very close, ran away from their small town at 16 ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
33
Section 3
55
Section 4
81
Section 5
103
Section 6
123
Section 7
145
Section 8
163
Section 11
221
Section 12
235
Section 13
243
Section 14
265
Section 15
283
Section 16
303
Section 17
327
Section 18
345

Section 9
183
Section 10
205

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About the author (2020)

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.

Bibliographic information