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When Brit Bennett’s first novel The Mothers came out in 2016, Bennett was one of the hottest debut authors of the season. Now that The Vanishing Half is out and has become an instant bestseller, she’s cemented her place as a star of the literary scene. So I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll be talking with Bennett about The Vanishing Half for the Vox Book Club on August 27 at 5 pm, and you can RSVP now.
Bennett is a SoCal native who graduated from Stanford and got an MFA from 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. She is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 awardee, and her debut novel The Mothers was a New York Times bestseller. Her essays are featured in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Paris Review, and Jezebel.
The Vanishing Half was an instant bestseller and is one of my favorite new novels of the year. It’s a rich, extravagant fairy tale of a book, concerning a set of twin sisters named Stella and Desiree. The twins grow up in an all-Black town where the population is devoted to ensuring that each successive generation has lighter skin than the one before it.
At 16, light-skinned Stella and Desiree run away from home. Desiree goes on to marry the darkest-skinned man she can find. And Stella starts passing for white.
The Vox Book Club will be discussing The Vanishing Half throughout August. Our first discussion post is scheduled to go up on Friday, August 14, and at the end of the month, we’ll all get together live and in person-ish!
Bennett and I will be meeting on Zoom to discuss the book on Thursday, August 27, at 5 pm Eastern. We’ll talk until 5:45 pm, with the last 10 minutes reserved for questions from the audience, and at the end of the event, I’ll reveal our pick for next month’s book. We would love to see you there. RSVP now, and be sure to sign up for the Vox Book Club newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything.