‘The Vanishing Half’: Waiting for it? Loved it? Try these titles!

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton

I love how much our community uses the library. Sometimes that means waiting for the hottest titles. Don’t fret! I can help you find a similar reading experience to THAT book you are waiting for or that you finally read and loved. 


The Vanishing Half read-alikes

The Complete Fiction of Nella Larsen by Nella Larsen

Why you should try it: While Larsen’s most famous novel, Passing, is most closely related to The Vanishing Half, all of her stories explore themes of race and finding one’s place in the world.

Description: Gathers three stories and two novels by Larsen, an influential writer of the Harlem Renaissance, including Passing, about a light-skinned beauty who has spent years passing as white, and Quicksand, in which a young mulatto searches for a place she can call home.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Why you should try it: Woodson’s slim novel explores similar territory, but more so, these two authors are exceptional writers capable of seamlessly transitioning between multiple narrators. 

Description: As Melody celebrates a coming-of-age ceremony at her grandparents’ house in 2001 Brooklyn, her family remembers 1985, when Melody’s own mother prepared for a similar party that never took place in this novel about different social classes. 

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

God Help the Child by Toni Morrison

Why you should try it: Bennett is clearly influenced by Toni Morrison, and this novel also features a dark-skinned daughter born to a light-skinned mother, even if they are very different circumstances.

Description: By the Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Bluest Eye, God Help the Child traces the impact of childhood trauma on the lives of a beautiful multiracial woman, the man she loves, and an abused white girl who looks to her for help.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Why you should try it: For a different perspective on a similar time period that also stars divergent twin sisters.

Description: Two sisters struggle to find their place, be true to themselves, and adapt to rapid changes happening throughout the latter half of 20th-century America. 

Stream & Download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

Find all available formats in the catalog »

We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America by Brando Skyhorse

Why you should try it: Some of the most affecting parts of The Vanishing Half deal with passing. If you want to learn more about passing, in all different contexts, try this.

Description: In fifteen essays, various authors discuss their experiences of presenting themselves as another race, gender, or ethnic identity during their lives and the complications and personal conflicts they faced.

Find all available formats in the catalog »

Librarian Kathy Sexton

About Kathy

Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be “Book Pusher,” and refute that “disco” is a dirty word.

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