For a novel that begins in 1968, Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half may well be the timeliest fiction book of the year. Back in 2014, following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Bennett wrote an essay for Jezebel called ‘I don’t know what to do with good white people.' Her passionate scepticism about hollow allyship and performative grief about police brutality and white supremacy were incendiary.
Now, in her second novel, the line Bennett draws between history and the present day are unmistakable and heartbreaking. Her beautiful and bestselling book follows twin sisters - one who returns to their childhood town in Louisiana, the other who reinvents herself as a white woman - and traces the nature of identity and belonging, of Blackness and diverging lives. It is one of the books of the year.
In conversation with Melissa Cummings-Quarry and Natalie Carter, co-founders of Black Girls Book Club, Bennett will answer audience questions following the discussion of The Vanishing Half.
This is a live event, with an author Q&A.
Book Festival News
Tuesday 31 August