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The Vanishing Half: Shortlisted for the Women's Prize 2021 by [Brit Bennett]

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The Vanishing Half: Shortlisted for the Women's Prize 2021 Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 91,300 ratings

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Review

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

Bennett balances the literary demands of dynamic characterization with the historical and social realities of her subject matter. . . there is such depth, possibility and dramatic propulsion . . a brave foray into vast and difficult terrain. . . .The novel raises thorny questions about the cost of blackness. The answers are complicated - New York Times Book Review

Stunning . . . 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 - Los Angeles Times

Deeply compelling . . . brilliantly creates a network of characters - singular and vivid . . . There are moments . . . that stun with quiet power . . . The Vanishing Half more than succeeds as a beautifully imagined story about an American family - USA Today

As thought-provoking as it is engrossing - Oprah magazine

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

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

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 Collin

A potent, generous, and masterful novel. Bennett is a humane and supple story-teller we are lucky to have - Olivia Sudjic

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

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 does exactly what a great novel is meant to do. It fills you with questions, exposes you to 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

Brit Bennett is a tremendous talent - Imbolo Mbue

A powerful, tender family epic which reminds us directly and poignantly that things are not black and white - Louisa Young

Bennett's mesmerising gem is a masterclass of moving storytelling. The Vanishing Half is also a thought provoking assessment of race and social politics in post-war America .. . The powerful plot twists will keep you gripped until the end - Independent

The Vanishing Half is an immersive story about family, identity and belonging - Red

A novel about motherhood and race, incredibly clever and interrogates race with nuance . . . Compulsively readable . . . An incredible talent . . . a book to look forward to - The High Low podcast

A lyrical mediation on identity, race and gender. Bennett explores the selves we choose to be, as well as the selves we have imposed on us with great empathy and precision. The Vanishing Half is a gorgeous, generous novel and written with true heart - Elizabeth Day

Stunning . . . seamless and suspenseful . . . engrossing and surprisingly apolitical . . . The result is a novel that reads effortlessly . . . There is tremendous, timeless wisdom here - AV Club

This ticks all the boxes for me - enticing plot, memorable characters, all wrapped up in beautiful writing . . . an astounding book - Nina Pottell, Prima

The Vanishing Half is one of this year's most anticipated books . . . Sweeping and ambitious . . . Combining an addictive story (it's perfect for book clubs ) with serious questions of racism, social expectations, lies, love and compassion - this is an unforgettable read - Stylist

Bennett is a gifted storyteller. This generous, humane novel has many merits, not least its engrossing plot and richly detailed settings - Michael Donkor, Guardian

A thought-provoking read - Woman & Home

Fascinating and beautifully written - Good Housekeeping

An entirely mesmerising novel - Psychologies

A bold, skilful storyteller . . . a novel that deftly rehearses the history of prejudice and suffering leading up to the present moment. It's a clever balancing act indeed to pair such heartbreaking material with a narrative that's so much fun - Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times

Deft, dazzling, many-layered, highly detailed and emotionally absorbing . . . [Bennett] unpicks the terrible, wonderful, inescapable threads that bind sisters across time, place and lies, and does so with poise, grace and breathtaking prose. A beautiful, important and timely book - Ella Walker, Scotsman

A must-read . . . A tender story about race, family and identity - Best

Fluent and openhearted . . . In a style as easy and candid as a detective story, Bennett scatters clues for us to gather just as, crucially, the twins' contrasting daughters, Jude and Kennedy, piece together fragments of their painful heritage - Maria Crawford, Financial Times

Bennett explores the multiple ways in which race and gender can be authentic, permeable and socially constructed all at once, without ever passing judgment on her characters. Combining a mythic structure with emotionally rich social realism, this is a truly excellent novel - Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

Bennett's second novel is an expertly plotted and empathetic exploration of race, identity and colourism in the tradition of Toni Morrison. - Guardian

Bennett's wonderful novel tackles race and identity in the US, as the Vignes twins, Desiree and Stella, who choose very different paths through life - The i

The omniscient authorial voice is gentle and compassionate in a tale that inverts and confounds expectations . . . cleverly constructed to both match and critique the conservativism of the 1950s and 60s : the attenuated tone chimes with the restrained language and style of the period. Ultimately, it's a quietly damning account of acquiescing to an imitation of life and the delusion of the American dream - Colin Grant, Observer

It's intensely emotional and gorgeously written, with timely insights into the poison of racism - Sunday Mirror

Beautifully written - Bella

Epic and unforgettable - Hello!

A triumph of empathetic storytelling . . . A terrific novel - Claire Allfree, Daily Mail

An absorbing read that stays with you long after you've closed its pages - Herald

Bennett has been described as a successor to the likes of Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston, and The Vanishing Half promises an absorbing exploration of race, family and the American history of "passing" - Refinery29

Book Description

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. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082KH5D4M
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dialogue Books (2 Jun. 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1643 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 401 pages
  • Customer reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 91,300 ratings

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Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and 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. She is a National Book Foundation "5 under 35" honoree, and her essays are featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
91,300 global ratings

Top reviews from United Kingdom

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 June 2020
84 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 July 2020
41 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 July 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars So well written
By read-along-with-sue on 8 July 2020
4.75*

What an amazing journey I’ve been on. Not sightseeing, more like “eye opening” moments.

The Vanishing Half will not only enthrall you it will enlighten you.

Twins. One skin colour lighter than the the other. Living in a small village named Mallard.
Based around 1950’s and spanning down to 1990’s.

Just why did these identical twins get split up when running away?
What made them run?

How did one twins life take a course so far in type to their peer?

One sister living a totally black persons life while the other “passing” for white and whites privilegies.

There is racism, there is hate.

The sisters had their school life halted due to a difference in everyday life, they’re mama needed them to work, to bring in money.

Running took the sisters on totally different paths.
One having different relationships and experiences.
The other marrying a white man who thought he had married a white woman.

Both these sisters went on to have a daughter of their own.

There are lots and lots of moments in this story I’d like to share, but, I’d prefer you to experience them whilst reading this book yourself.

I remember the times when cemeteries were split. Deceased white people on one part of the land and black diseased on the other. The upkeep of the graves were done on the white side, but not the black.

It touches on history here.

But the reunion of the sisters I would have loved more emotional, and to see what happened if here husband learnt of the truth or not that she was indeed black.
I’d love a book 2 on this. Following through the next generation.

I’ve not read The Mothers by this author but I’m looking straight at it on my bookshelf so I’m definitely going to be reading that before 2020 has ended.
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