Brit Bennett Biography & Facts
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.
Bennett was raised in Southern California and received an undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University. She later attended the University of Michigan for her M.F.A. She also studied at Oxford University.
While she was completing her M.F.A. at Michigan, Bennett's 2014 essay for Jezebel "I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People" gained considerable attention, generating over one million views in three days. While at Michigan, she also won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers.She has since published other nonfiction essays, including a history of black dolls called "Addy Walker, American Girl" for the Paris Review, as well as a review of the 2015 Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the World and Me for The New Yorker. Vogue said Bennett's nonfiction essays "recall Ta-Nehisi Coates [with] a similar ability to contextualize the present moment in a bigoted past."
In 2016, Riverhead Books published her debut novel The Mothers to critical acclaim. A New York Times best-seller. the Times said The Mothers is "shaping up to be one of the fall’s biggest literary debuts, with an initial printing of 108,000 copies and starred reviews in Booklist, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly." Bennett was named in the National Book Foundation "5 under 35" list of promising debut novelists. In March 2017 it was reported that The Mothers had been tapped by Warner Bros. for a film adaptation, with Kerry Washington as a producer.
The Vanishing Half
In 2020, Bennett's second book The Vanishing Half was published by Riverhead Books, reaching the #1 spot on The New York Times best-seller list in June and was chosen as a New York Times best-seller and 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. The Washington Post called The Vanishing Half a "fierce examination of contemporary passing and the price so many pay for a new identity." Within a month of publication it was reported that HBO had acquired the rights for "low seven-figures" to develop a limited series with the author as executive producer.
Bibliography The Mothers: a novel, New York : Riverhead Books, 2016. ISBN 9780399184529
The Vanishing Half, New York: Riverhead Books, 2020. ISBN 9780525536291References
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