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The Vanishing Half: A Novel Audiobook, by Brit Bennett Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Brit Bennett Narrator: Shayna Small Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2020 ISBN: 9780525637141
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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. 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' 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. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • "[A] breathtaking plot.”

    People

  • “Bennett creates a striking portrait of racial identity in America.”

    Time

  • “In her sensitive, elegant prose, [Bennett] evokes both the strife of racism and what it does to a person even if they can evade some of its elements.”

    Vogue

  • “An intergenerational epic of race and reinvention, love and inheritance, divisions made and crossed, binding trauma, and the ever-present past.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A June 2020 LibraryReads Pick
  • A BookPage Top Pick of the Month
  • A Good Morning America Selection

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About the Author

Brit Bennett was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from Stanford University. She 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.

About the Narrator

Shayna Small is an actress, singer, and educator based in New York, where she received her BFA in Drama from the Juilliard School. She has worked across a variety of media including theater, film and tv, music and voice-over.