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Brit Bennett's second novel is a powerful and timely addition to the debate on race and prejudice

Tackling topics from femininity to transsexuality, Brit Bennett's second novel steadily navigates a sea of big issues, writes Tanya Sweeney

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An essential read in 2020: The Vanishing Half is Brit Bennett’s second novel

An essential read in 2020: The Vanishing Half is Brit Bennett’s second novel

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

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An essential read in 2020: The Vanishing Half is Brit Bennett’s second novel

It has taken an atrocity, followed by a paradigm shift, for it to happen. Still, a swathe of new readers, keen to learn and explore and enlighten themselves, are resolving to read more writers of colour.

This week in the UK, Bernardine Evaristo's Booker-winning Girl, Woman, Other has topped the fiction bestseller charts, while Reni Eddo-Lodge's Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race has had a massive surge in sales. It is an encouraging if long-overdue development, coming on the heels of the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag. Using the hashtag on social media, writers are divulging how much they were paid as an advance, and the difference between white writers and black and ethnic minority writers is stark.

It's very likely that The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett's follow-up to her formidable debut, The Mothers, will be as widely read as it truly deserves to be. The Mothers heralded Bennett as a writer of impressive smoothness and maturity, and at 26, a writer with an acumen beyond her years.