What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

Into the Wild

Read What We Lose Online Free - “The debut novel of the year.” –Vogue

One of the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Houston Chronicle, LA Daily News, Nylon, and Elle’s Books to Read This Summer

“Zinzi Clemmons’s debut novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored.” —Paul Beatty, Booker-winning author of The Sellout

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

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.

Title : What We Lose
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0735221715
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 224 pages


Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) rated it ★★★★☆

August 03, 2017

Albeit smart, intimate and well-written, these qualities aren't why I'll remember this novel : no, I'll remember What We Lose for its relatable depiction of grief, no matter how often I've wanted to stop reading. In this area of essays and important novels, when the representation of minorities i...

Darkowaa rated it ★★★★☆

July 11, 2017

!!! Book blog review: https://africanbookaddict.com/2017/07... Laden with meditative, intimate and at times unsettling vignettes, What We Lose will leave you in a pensive state. Thandi – the heroine of this novel, is the only child of her mother (a coloured South African) and father (a light skinn...

Latanya rated it ★★★★☆

July 16, 2017

Throughout my life, coming-of-age novels peppered themselves onto bookshelves whenever I ventured. In these novels, heartbreak, love, loss, and joys scattered their footprints, asking me to grasp the main character's journey by finding similarity. Most of the time, they failed as they offered two...

Vanessa rated it ★★★★☆

August 12, 2017

A very contemporary feeling book that tackles modern day themes but also about the past and how both have a habit of interesecting each other. Thandi tries to break the mould of living and honouring the past of her South African background and paving a new future. This book tackles race, traditio...

Rachel rated it ★★★★★

July 13, 2017

(4.5 stars, rounded up) This novel is so beautiful and smart. I totally loved it. Here's my full review: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2017/07/...

Kasa rated it ★★★★★

July 20, 2017

Heartfelt account of a young woman's coming to self realization and dealing with her mother's death, a mother who was young and still had much in front of her, this reminded me at times of Cheryl Strayed's Wild. Clemmons fully expresses her loss in short vignettes, with splashes of surprising can...

Little Hux rated it ★★★★★

June 19, 2017

When I started reading What We Lose, I thought it was a memoir. 50 pages in I happened to turn over the proof and noticed the words “a novel”, alongside realising that the author’s name was Zinzi, not Thandi. I had become so enraptured in the writing, I hadn’t for a second thought it wasn’t memoi...

Conrad rated it ★★★★☆

August 09, 2017

How do you approach ‘best books of the year’ in your reading? I think it’s a complicated question and it takes a lot of time, consideration, refiguring and variables to answer it. I would submit What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons as one of the ‘best’ books I’ve read this year for one simple reason: it’...

Olive (abookolive) rated it ★★★★☆

August 19, 2017

See my review on my booktube channel: https://youtu.be/Bp6MNHxXitc

La La rated it ★★★★★

July 09, 2017

3 stars on the blog. I know you are all saying, "Huh?" How can it be five stars here and three stars on the blog? Well, this book has gotten quite a few one star ratings based solely on the fact that it is about African American culture and race relations; one reviewer said she is sick of all the...

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