What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

What We Lose

 

img_3371.jpg

 

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age—a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love.

In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.

 

img_3372.jpg

 

“American blacks were my precarious homeland – because of my light skin and foreign roots, I was never fully accepted by any race. Plus my family had money, and all the black kids in my town came from the poorer areas. I was friends with the kids who lived on my block and were in my honors classes – white kids. I was a strange in-betweener.”

What We Lose is a very telling coming of age story of a young woman that is of mixed race, and whose parents are from different continents which leads her to have identity issues. We get some insight on how hard Thandi worked to fit in amongst the different groups and to find her own voice. The death of her mother added another layer to this book as we got to see how she dealt with the grief.

I was extremely excited to read this book because of the early buzz, but I honestly felt let down. What We Lose had the potential to be excellent but the timeline jumped around too much for my liking. It is my belief that Clemmons had amazing talent and she will have a very successful writing career, but this book just didn’t do it for me.

 

img_0012.jpg

 

Buy What We Lose Here!

Speak Your Mind

*