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From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Mothers, a powerful new novel about the parallel lives of estranged twin sisters who choose to live in two very different worlds - one black and one white.

 

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP BESTSELLER

 

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

 

 

'An utterly mesmerising novel..I absolutely loved this book' Bernardine Evaristo, winner of the Booker Prize 2019

 

 

'Epic' Kiley Reid, O, The Oprah Magazine

 

 

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. Ten 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' story lines 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.

 

Details

ISBN: 9780349701479
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2021
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.6(L) x 0(W)

 

Reviews

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 * New York Times * 

The Vanishing Half is an utterly mesmerising novel. 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, winner of the Booker Prize *

A novel of immense, shining, powerful intelligence * Deborah Levy *

The intricacies of identity, of "shadeism" between differently skin-toned African-Americans, of white privilege are skilfully pursued in this poignant and clever multigenerational saga about race in America * The Times *

Bennett tells the story of the girls' diverging trajectories in rich, elegant prose; you can literally swirl the words in your mouth * Evening Standard *

Old-fashioned epic meets modern identity politics in this excellent novel about the mixed fortunes of light-skinned black twins born in 1950s Louisiana * Telegraph *

A stunning family saga about passing for white and the hollowness of the American dream that won her comparisons to Toni Morrison * Guardian *

 

Author Biography

Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation's 2016 5 Under 35 honorees.

 

The Vanishing Half: Longlisted for the Women's Prize 2021
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