Brit Bennett

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Brit Bennett
BornOceanside, CA
EducationStanford University, B.A. English; University of Michigan M.F.A
Notable works"I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People"
The Mothers

Brit Bennett is an American writer based in Los Angeles. Her debut novel The Mothers (2016) was a New York Times best-seller.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bennett was raised in Southern California and received an undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University. She later attended the University of Michigan for her M.F.A. She also studied at Oxford University.[2]


While she was completing her M.F.A. at Michigan, Bennett's 2014 essay for Jezebel "I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People"[3] gained considerable attention, generating over one million views in three days.[4] While at Michigan, she also won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers.[5]

She has since published other nonfiction essays, including a history of black dolls called "Addy Walker, American Girl" for the Paris Review,[6] as well as a review of the Ta-Nehisi Coates book Between the World and Me for The New Yorker.[7] Vogue said Bennett's nonfiction essays "recall Ta-Nehisi Coates [with] a similar ability to contextualize the present moment in a bigoted past."[4]

The Mothers[edit]

In 2016, Riverhead Books published her debut novel The Mothers to critical acclaim. The New York Times said The Mothers is "shaping up to be one of the fall’s biggest literary debuts, with an initial printing of 108,000 copies and starred reviews in Booklist, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly."[8] Bennett was named in the National Book Foundation "5 under 35"[9] list of promising debut novelists.[10] In March 2017 it was reported that The Mothers had been tapped by Warner Bros. for a film adaptation, with Kerry Washington as a producer.[11]


  1. ^ McKinney, Kelsey (October 31, 2016). "How did Brit Bennett write a novel relatable to everyone? By writing about black women". Fusion. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Alter, Alexandra (2016-10-09). "'The Mothers,' a Debut Novel, Is Already Creating a Stir". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  3. ^ Bennett, Brit (December 17, 2014). "I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People". Jezebel. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  4. ^ a b O'Grady, Megan (September 21, 2016). "Brit Bennett on Her Buzzed-About Debut Novel, The Mothers". Vogue. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers, 5 Under 35, 2016, National Book Foundation". Archived from the original on 2017-04-16. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  6. ^ Bennett, Brit. "Addy Walker, American Girl". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  7. ^ Bennett, Brit (2015-07-15). "Ta-Nehisi Coates and a Generation Waking Up". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  8. ^ Alter, Alexandra (October 9, 2016). "'The Mothers,' a Debut Novel, Is Already Creating a Stir". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Bass, Patrik Henry (October 4, 2016). "Meet Brit Bennett, A Writer on the Come Up". Essence. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Reader's Guide to This Fall's Big Book Awards". The New York Times. October 3, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  11. ^ Jeng, Jonah (March 10, 2017). "Kerry Washington, Warner Bros. to Adapt Brit Bennett's The Mothers for the Big Screen". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-11.