EXCLUSIVE: HBO won a wild auction that sources said saw 17 bidders vying for The Vanishing Half, the novel by Brit Bennett that is currently atop The New York Times bestseller list. Sources said HBO will pay low seven-figures for the book and the author will be executive producer of what HBO will develop as a limited series.
The novel focuses on the Vignes sisters, identical twins who, after growing up together in a small, southern black 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 with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, hiding her identity from her husband, who knows nothing of her past. 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?
The novel was published on June 2, 2020 by Penguin Random House, and became a Good Morning America Book Club Pick, Barnes & Noble June Book Club Pick, and Amazon Best Book of June.
Bennett is a Stanford U grad whose debut novel The Mothers became a bestseller and is being developed as a feature film by Kerry Washington through Simpson Street and Natalie Krinsky for Warner Bros. Her essays are featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.
CAA repped the book on behalf of Julia Kardon of HG Literary and Orly Ravid of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.