Author Talk: Read What You Sow + Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half
Time & Location
About the Event
"Read What You Sow" with Jocelyn Willoughby is a book club that will explore the injustices disproportionately facing Black and Brown people within healthcare, education, and other social systems fundamental to our welfare through the lens of womxn of color.
About Jocelyn Willoughby:
Jocelyn Willoughby, a forward for the WNBA’s New York Liberty, is entering her second professional season. Willoughby wasted no time establishing her footprint in the WNBA’s leadership ranks, becoming the league’s only rookie representative in the Women’s National Basketball Players Association. Additionally, Jocelyn, with the support of New York Liberty leadership, is committed to bettering the community around her through social justice action, policy reform and youth development.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Jocelyn was a four-year starter for the Cavaliers women’s basketball team, as well as an accomplished student and leader on campus. Such continued excellence on the court and in the classroom garnered Willoughby a long-list of awards including: the 2019-20 Kay Yow Award winner, CoSIDA Academic All-America Division I women’s basketball third team, WBCA All-America team honorable mention, All-ACC First Team and UVA’s Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Willoughby was born and raised in East Orange, N.J., and is the Liberty’s only active player to come from the Tri-State area. At just 22 years-old, she exemplifies great promise not only on the court, but in the greater community.
About the Book:
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running 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. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, 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? 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. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. She is a National Book Foundation "5 under 35" honoree, and her essays are featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel.