After 17 bidders vied for the rights to Brit Bennett’s novel, The Vanishing Half, HBO won the auction with, according to sources, a low seven-figures bid. With that agreement, HBO will adapt the book a limited series that Bennett will executive produce.
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The Vanishing Half which s currently atop The New York Times bestseller list centers on Vignes sisters. They are identical twins who, after growing up together in a small, Jim Crow Louisiana community, run 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 in New Orleans and marries “the darkest man she could find,” with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. And the other moves to California, where she passes for white and starts a white family. The whole time she is married she hid her identity from her husband, who knows nothing of her past.
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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?
Penguin Random House published The Vanishing Half on June 2, 2020. It soon became a Good Morning America Book Club Pick, Barnes & Noble June Book Club Pick, and Amazon Best Book of June.