What We Lose

What We Lose

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction & the Aspen Words Literary Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue , NPR, Elle , Esquire , Harper's Bazaar , The A.V. Club , The Root , Bustle , and Kirkus Reviews

"The debut novel of the year." -- Vogue

"Like so many stories of the black diaspora, What We Lose is an examination of haunting. " --Doreen St. F#65533;lix, The New Yorker

"A richly volatile study of grief, wonderment and love." --Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"A startling, poignant debut." -- The Atlantic

"Raw and ravishing, this novel pulses with vulnerability and shimmering anger." --Nicole Dennis-Benn, O, the Oprah Magazine

"Stunning. . . . Powerfully moving and beautifully wrought, What We Lose reflects on family, love, loss, race, womanhood, and the places we feel home." -- Buzzfeed

"Remember this name: Zinzi Clemmons. Long may she thrill us with exquisite works like What We Lose . . . . The book is a remarkable journey." --Essence

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.

One of the New York Times , Huffington Post , Buzzfeed , Cosmopolitan , Glamour , Redbook , Marie Claire , Essence , Houston Chronicle , LA Daily News , Nylon , and Elle 's Books to Read This Summer
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2017]
ISBN: 9780735221710
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: 213 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Oct 05, 2017

not sure why I picked this up but a memoir that just did not give me anything substantial.

blackgirlmagic Aug 06, 2017

A coming-of-age story that tackles the various stages of grief and growing insecurities as a biracial woman.

Jul 29, 2017

Paced with contemplatives of a life with losses big and some ever so slight. Loss of a strong identity being lighter skinned, loss of a parent, loss of security, of relationships, or loss of a time that carried a different part of oneself. There is a new truth one gains from the elements of the normal losses one experiences in life and author Clemmons takes us lightly through these in her character Thandi.

LPL_KateG Jun 26, 2017

If you love to delve deep into a character's head, Zinzi Clemmons has a narrator for you. Thandi feels like an outsider in so many ways, split between multiple cultures and histories and desires. This coming-of-age story throws you into Thandi's perspective and leaves you full of emotions.


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