The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett
Praise For This Book:
ABOUT THE VANISHING HALF
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2020 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES * THE WASHINGTON POST * NPR * PEOPLE * TIME MAGAZINE* VANITY FAIR * GLAMOUR

"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 story of absolute, universal timelessness ...For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." - Entertainment Weekly

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.

Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, USA Today, GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, and Bustle

"[Bennett's] second [book], The Vanishing Half, more than lives up to her early promise. . . more expansive yet also deeper, a multi-generational family saga that tackles prickly issues of racial identity and bigotry and conveys the corrosive effects of secrets and dissembling. It's also a great read that will transport you out of your current circumstances, whatever they are. . . Like The Mothers, this novel keeps you turning pages not just to find out what happens." -NPR

"Bennett's gorgeously written second novel, an ambitious meditation on race and identity, considers the divergent fates of twin sisters, born in the Jim Crow South, after one decides to pass for white. Bennett balances the literary demands of dynamic characterization with the historical and social realities of her subject matter."-The New York Times

"An eloquent new entry to literature on that most vital of subjects, identity, The Vanishing Half is the novel of the year."-TIME

"A story of absolute, universal timelessness - a story of what it means to simply be, to grow up and define oneself and reinvent, to negotiate a place in the world. It's also a deeply American story, rigorously engaged with a country's racist past and present, while interrogative of its foundational values, like choice and legacy. For any era, it's an accomplished, affecting novel. For this moment, it's piercing, subtly wending its way toward questions about who we are and who we want to be...." -Entertainment Weekly

"Beautifully written, thought-provoking and immersive... Issues of privilege, inter-generational trauma, the randomness and unfairness of it all, are teased apart in all their complexity, within a story that also touches on universal themes of love, identity and belonging... The Vanishing Half, with its clever premise and strongly developed characters, is unputdownable and highly recommended." -Associated Press

"Bennett pulls it off brilliantly... Few novels manage to remain interesting from start to finish, even - maybe especially - the brilliant ones. But... Bennett locks readers in and never lets them go... Stunning...She leaves any weighty parallels - between, for example, racial and gender determinism - to the reader. Her restraint is the novel's great strength, and it's tougher than it looks... The Vanishing Half speaks ultimately of a universal vanishing. It concerns the half of everyone that disappears once we leave home - love or hate the place, love or hate ourselves." -Los Angeles Times

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