Unraveling Identity and Ambition

Brit Bennett discusses her vibrant, New York Times-bestselling books, The Mothers and The Vanishing Half, and offers valuable thoughts on the intertwining ideas of community, identity, race, and systemic injustice.
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Good Morning America | Brit Bennett appeared on Good Morning America to discuss her #1 New York Times-bestselling book, and GMA Book Club Pick, The Vanishing Half.

Program Topics

  • Exploring Social Commentary through Fiction

    The sense of urgency that defines and carries Brit Bennett’s novels is nothing that would surprise anyone already familiar with Bennett’s personal essays and astute social commentary. In the wake of the non-indictment in Ferguson and the non-indictment in the Eric Garner case, Bennett wrote an essay for Jezebel that racked up 1.6 million views and triggered important discussions. Now the critically acclaimed bestselling author of The Mothers and The Vanishing Half, Bennett reflects on the challenges and rewards of writing commentary and personal essays in the age of comment sections and immediate feedback.

The Vanishing Half

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • 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 • 2021 WOMEN’S PRIZE FINALIST • 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.

Available in: hardcover, eBook, audiobook 
480 pages; June 2, 2020

The Vanishing Half

“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

“A stunning page-turner…It’s a powerful story about family, compassion, identity and roots… You will be thinking about The Vanishing Half long after you turn the final page.”

Good Morning America

“A page-turner about once-inseparable twin girls now living radically different lives.”

O, The Oprah Magazine
The Mothers
The Mothers

“Ferociously moving…a lush book, a book of so many secrets, betrayal…Despite Bennett’s thrumming plot, despite the snap of her pacing, it’s the always deepening complexity of her characters that provides the book’s urgency…I found myself reading not to find out what happens to the characters, but to find out who they are.”

The New York Times Book Review

“Fantastic… a book that feels alive on the page.”

The Washington Post

“[Bennett’s] storytelling does what all truly good fiction does: it draws you in and, on a universal level, connects with you and makes you think….The Mothers is a thought-provoking novel that will resonate long after it is read.”

USA Today
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