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The Vanishing Half: A Novel av Brit Bennett
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The Vanishing Half: A Novel (utgåvan 2020)

av Brit Bennett (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,3351354,906 (4.1)156
"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"--… (mer)
Medlem:KatherineGregg
Titel:The Vanishing Half: A Novel
Författare:Brit Bennett (Författare)
Info:Riverhead Books (2020), 352 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:twins, sisters, Black, White

Verkdetaljer

Hjärtlinjer av Brit Bennett

  1. 20
    Passing av Nella Larsen (bhowell)
    bhowell: Passing by Nella Larsen is classic literature and a look at the same issue early in the 20th century
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» Se även 156 omnämnanden

Twin girls run away from home as teens. Then one runs away from another. Unknown to the one left is that the one who leaves choses to pass as white. The other does not. There daughters stumble across each other over 20 year later. The story is of the paths taken and not taken and the intersection later. ( )
  LivelyLady | Jul 24, 2021 |
The Vanishing Half is an unsettling book, but in a good way. Shortlisted for the Women's Prize and featured in last year's online Melbourne Writers' Festival, The Vanishing Half is a story that explores race and identity to expose in all its stupidity the corrupting consequences of racism.

When I shared my thoughts about the MWF session I wrote that I felt that framing the book as a distinctively American phenomenon was misleading:
This session would have benefitted from including an Australian context. Indigenous people in Australia, if they were ‘white enough’ could ‘pass’, but if they did, they had to renounce their Aboriginality and avoid all contact with family. I don’t know much about this but I know that (at least until the threat from Japan in the Pacific War) in both World Wars Indigenous people were not supposed to enlist but some did if they could ‘pass’. And during the assimilationist phase of our history, there was also an official system of enabling Indigenous people to ‘pass’ which isolated them from their communities. I think that some Indigenous people in contemporary Australia often experience a questioning of their identity and this is very hurtful. But the session was framed entirely from an American context. Brit Bennett actually said that the situation of ‘passing’ was distinctively American, and I know that this isn’t true, because it occurred in South Africa too, during the Apartheid regime.
So I preface my thoughts by admitting that I read The Vanishing Half framed by what I know about the circumstances in which Indigenous people 'passed' in Australia and also by what I know about the importance of family and community to Indigenous people and how the exemption system was intended to destroy these relationships. There were many scenes in the novel that replicated the Australian context: the angry white child using a racist epithet against her black friend; people of colour being hounded out of white areas; routine discrimination in employment and so on. One of the most unsettling aspects was the way that the light-skinned African Americans of Mallard had come through bitter experience to accept the violence against them. The twins witness the murder of their father twice — at home when white vigilantes burst into their home, and again in the hospital when the men come back to finish off their crime.
Willie Lee heard that the white men were angry that Leon stole their business by underbidding them. But how could you shoot a man for accepting less than what you asked for?

'White folks kill you if you want too much, kill you if you want too little.' Willie Lee shook his head, packing tobacco into his pipe. 'You gotta follow they rules but they change 'em when they feel. Devilish, you ask me.'

In the bedroom, the twins sat, swinging over the mattress edge, and pinched at a piece of pound cake.

'But what did Daddy do?' Stella kept asking.

Desiree sighed, for the first time feeling the burden of having to supply answers. Oldest was oldest, even if by only seven minutes.

'Like Willie Lee say. He do his job too good.'

'But that don't make sense.'

'Don't have to. It's white folks.' (p.35)
That devastating last line contains a whole world of cruel history for people of colour all over the world.

The context reinforces it. The (fictional) town where these twins live is Mallard, where people of colour respond to racism by exercising their own version of it. For generations, they have bred themselves progressively whiter by excluding darker-skinned African Americans. Adele, the mother of the twins, tries to prevent Desiree's relationship with a black man; later, she rejects the very dark-skinned child of Desiree's marriage. Yet even these people, the light-skinned people of Mallard who are indistinguishable from white people, are excluded, discriminated against, and subjected to vigilante violence. It exposes in a visceral way just how irrational racism is.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2021/07/24/the-vanishing-half-by-brit-bennett/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Jul 24, 2021 |
I guess the author's point was that a person's identity is variable as defined by external sources and measures but remains fixed internally. This dichotomy leads to too many characters in this book who can't feel good about themselves, have to hide their inner identity, keep secrets from those who love them, and can't appreciate their own successes and good qualities. All that angst just overwhelmed me, ( )
  NMBookClub | Jul 18, 2021 |
Fantastic. I would prefer to give this 4.6 stars but some elements of the narrative gave me pause so I cut it down to 4. I understand that this was a bit of an homage to Toni Morrison's "Bluest Eye." The idea of making the leads twins was terrific. The character builds were terrific and I love great characters. I look forward to her next book. ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |
A wonderful book! ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Jul 11, 2021 |
Visa 1-5 av 135 (nästa | visa alla)
The Vanishing Half is the fairy tale we need right now to tell us the truth....

All of these events unfold with the inevitability of a folktale or a fable — which is how The Vanishing Half, with its many folklorish narrative extravagances, reads. This book is not interested in literary realism. It is a fairy tale, and it makes no apologies for being so....But within its fairy-tale structure, The Vanishing Half is able to be ambitious with its characters. ...Reading The Vanishing Half at this moment in time, as America protests against the police killings of black people and the police respond with brutality, feels like reading a parable that is wiser and more beautiful than we deserve. One that is built around all the secrets buried in the rotten core of America’s racial history.

There is deep truth within fairy tales. And with The Vanishing Half, Bennett has written a marvel of one.
tillagd av vancouverdeb | ändraVox
 
A new novel explores the construct of race in the diverging lives of light-skinned black twins, one of whom transitions into a life as a white woman....Issues of privilege, intergenerational trauma, the randomness and unfairness of it all, are teased apart in all their complexity, within a story that also touches on universal themes of love, identity and belonging.

“The Vanishing Half,” with its clever premise and strongly developed characters, is unputdownable.
 
Race is much on America’s mind now, in all the myriad ways it shapes our lives, whatever color our skin might be. It also lies at the heart of Brit Bennett’s moving and insightful new novel, The Vanishing Half, the story of twin sisters who choose to live their lives as different races, one black, one white....The Vanishing Half is skillfully structured and filled with richly developed characters who defy stereotypes. By turns poignant and funny, it’s a timely look at the dual nature of race — an abstract construct, a visceral reality — and the damage that racism can inflict.
 
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The morning one of the lost twins returned to Mallard, Lou LeBon ran to the diner to break the news, and even now, many years later, everyone remembers the shock of sweaty Lou pushing through the glass doors, chest heaving, neckline darkened with his own effort.
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The hardest part about becoming someone else was deciding to. The rest was only logistics.
She had rung the bell, and all her life, the note would hang in the air.
Like leaving, the hardest part of returning was deciding to.
Her death hit in waves. Not a flood, but water lapping steadily at her ankles.

You could drown in two inches of water. Maybe grief was the same.
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"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"--

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