On Wednesday, Oct. 6, one of fall’s most anticipated author events will happen. Seattle Reads 2021 presents Brit Bennett, bestselling author of “The Vanishing Half,” in conversation with Jazmyn Scott, program manager at LANGSTON.

Seattle Reads is Seattle’s citywide book club, started by The Seattle Public Library in 1998. Every year, the Library works with the community to select a book for the whole city to read, with an aim of deepening Seattle’s engagement with literature. This year’s selection – “The Vanishing Half,” by Brit Bennett – is one of the most acclaimed novels of 2020, exploring complex themes of race, identity and family.

Please see below for more details and registration information about this event and the other great Seattle Reads events offered this season.


  • Seattle Reads 2021 presents Brit Bennett, from 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6. The 2021 selection for Seattle Reads is Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half,” her bestselling novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds — one Black and one white. Bennett will read and discuss her book with Jazmyn Scott, program manager of LANGSTON, Seattle’s hub for Black arts and culture. Register soon as space is limited. You can download a copy of the Seattle Reads discussion guide at spl.org/SeattleReads or pick up a print copy at a Library location. It’s not too late to read the book! The Library’s catalog has more than 700 physical and digital copies of “The Vanishing Half,” and it is also a Peak Pick.
  • Seattle Reads presents the African-American Writers’ Alliance showcase, from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10. As part of Seattle Reads, join us for a celebration of the poetry and prose of the African-American Writers’ Alliance, a diverse and dynamic collective of Seattle-area writers of African descent.
  • Seattle Reads presents artist Lisa Myers Bulmash, from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9. Each year, Seattle Reads invites a local artist or performer to consider the selected title and create a work of art in response. Lisa Myers Bulmash is a visual artist who uses collage, assemblage sculpture and altered books to explore issues of identity, trust and imperfect memories. Her work challenges the contradictory social narratives that marginalize the most vulnerable Americans. At this event, Bulmash will discuss the process of creating a work informed by “The Vanishing Half,” which will be displayed at a Library branch later this year.


Born and raised in Southern California, Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later 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. Her work has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation's 2016 5 Under 35 honorees.


Seattle Reads is a citywide book group, where people are encouraged to read and discuss the same book. Seattle Reads presents “The Vanishing Half” in partnership with the African-American Writers’ Alliance, LANGSTON, Northwest African American Museum and Wa Na Wari. It is made possible by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, with additional support from media sponsor The Seattle Times, Riverhead Books and Penguin Random House.


The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

 To learn more about the Library’s work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, read our 2020 Impact Report. Visit the Library's Road to Reopening page for more information on current Library services.

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