The Vanishing Half is a historical fiction novel by American author Brit Bennett. It is her second novel and was published by Riverhead Books in 2020. It debuted at number one on The New York Times fiction best-seller list. HBO acquired the rights to develop a limited series with Bennett as executive producer. The Vanishing Half garnered acclaim from book critics, and was found by Emily Temple of Literary Hub to be the 2020 book most frequently listed among the year's best, making 25 lists.
The novel is a multi-generational family saga set between the 1940s to the 1990s and centers on identical twin sisters Desiree and Estelle "Stella" Vignes and their daughters Jude and Kennedy. Desiree and Stella are light-skinned black sisters who were raised in the fictional town of Mallard, Louisiana and witnessed the lynching of their father in the 1940s. In 1954, at the age of 16, the twins run away to New Orleans. However, Stella disappears shortly thereafter only to be living her life in secret as a white woman.
About the Author
Brit Bennett is an American writer based in Los Angeles. Her debut novel The Mothers (2016) was a New York Times best-seller. Her second novel, The Vanishing Half (2020), was also a New York Times best-seller; further, it was chosen as a Good Morning America Book Club selection. The Vanishing Half was also selected as one of The New York Times ten best books of 2020.