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Writers Center Stage to host author Brit Bennett

Writers Center Stage to host author Brit Bennett

Release date: 3/16/2021

Live virtual event will be held Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. 

Parma, OH – March 16, 2021 – The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series will welcome author Brit Bennett on Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. This event will be broadcast live on Zoom. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at

When Brit Bennett’s debut novel, The Mothers, was published in the fall of 2016, critics and readers were immediately dazzled. It was clear that an exciting new voice in fiction had arrived. Her second novel, The Vanishing Half, was an instant #1 New York Times best-seller and longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction.

Before publishing her novel, Bennett had already built an impressive platform as a social commentator. Her essay in Jezebel, following the Ferguson riots, was shared over a million times. Her work has also been featured in The New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine and The Paris Review.

The Vanishing Half tells the story of the Vignes sisters - light-skinned identical twins who grew up in a small, southern Black community before running away at age 16 after witnessing the lynching of their father. Many years later, one sister, Desiree, lives with her Black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape, while the other sister, Stella, secretly passes as white in California. 

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. 

About the William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series

The 2020-2021 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series is presented by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and its academic partner Case Western Reserve University. Funds raised by the series help support Cuyahoga County Public Library, the nation's top-rated library system for 11 consecutive years. Learn more at

About the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation 
The Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation exists to raise financial resources in support of the Library's mission of reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement and to elevate awareness of the Library's critical role in the community. For more information, visit


Hallie Rich
Communications & External Relations Director

Robert J. Rua
Assistant Marketing & Communications Director