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The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half

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 2019

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.

Praise for Brit Bennett:

‘A writer to watch’ Washington Post

‘Bennett allows her characters to follow their worst impulses, and she handles provocative issues with intelligence, empathy and dark humour’ New York Times

‘A beautifully written, sad and lingering book’ Guardian on The Mothers
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 25th June 2020

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9780349701462

Reviews

The Vanishing Half does exactly what a great novel is meant to do. It fills you with questions, exposes you realities you may never have thought of and of course keeps you up into the night reading. The characters in this book are so real, so warm and so very complicated. I loved every part of it, even when it was making me sad or angry. It's just such a beautiful story
Luan Goldie
A powerful, tender family epic which reminds us directly and poignantly that things are not black and white
Louisa Young
Brit Bennett has learned a lot from Toni Morrison - the use of uncanny rural communities in the South/Midwest; twins/doppelgängers to explore the extreme edges of the American Dream; whip-smart dialogue - but her exquisite slowness and patience of tone are unique. A wonderful, cosseting read
Paul Mendez, author of Rainbow Milk
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
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
A novel of immense, shining, powerful intelligence
Deborah Levy
Superb. A gorgeously immersive novel. It deftly explores the dichotomies of twinship, passing and class in America
Irenosen Okojie
The detail and the feeling showcased in every sentence Brit Bennett writes is breathtaking. 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
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. I read it torn between competing urges: I wanted to greedily turn the pages, yet I also wanted to savour every word, lingering as long as I could with the delicious feeling of being sunk so deep into the story that every time I set the book aside it felt like coming up for air. Compelling, compassionate and astonishingly good
Sara Collins
Brit Bennett is a tremendous talent
Imbolo Mbue
A potent, generous, and masterful novel. Bennett is a humane and supple story-teller we are lucky to have
Olivia Sudjic