Spend August reading the exquisite dark fairy tale The Vanishing Half with the Vox Book Club
Courtesy of Riverhead Books The Vanishing Half is an exquisite dark fairy tale about passing for white. The Vox Book Club is linking to Bookshop.org to support local and independent booksellers. This August, the Vox Book Club will be reading one of the best new novels of 2020: Brit Bennett’s exquisite The Vanishing Half. And at the end of the month, we’ll be joined by Bennett herself to discuss the book live on Zoom. The Vanishing Half is a rich, extravagant fairy tale of a book. It concerns a set of twin sisters, Stella and Desiree, who grow up in an all-Black town where the population is devoted to ensuring that each successive generation has lighter skin than the one before it. At 16, light-skinned Stella and Desiree run away. Desiree goes on to marry the darkest-skinned man she can find. And Stella starts passing for white. There’s a lot to delve into here: the history of narratives of passing, the power of American fairy tales, the question of how we are bound by our bodies and our families. So, as we did in July, we’ll publish two book club discussion posts in August, both on Fridays. Each one will deal with different aspects of The Vanishing Half; we’ll have expert guest stars, and both posts will assume you’ve already read the whole book. (Consider this your spoiler warning!) Our virtual meeting with Bennett will happen August 27, and it will be a culmination of the whole month’s worth of conversation. I can’t wait to see you there. Here’s the full Vox Book Club schedule for August 2020 Friday, August 14: First discussion post on The Vanishing Half Friday, August 21: Second discussion post on The Vanishing Half Thursday, August 27: Virtual live event with author Brit Bennett. Sign up for the Vox Book Club newsletter and we’ll send you the RSVP link as soon as it’s up! Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.