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What We Lose: A Novel by Zinzi Clemmons
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What We Lose: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Zinzi Clemmons (Author)

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2451269,836 (3.81)18
Member:HartHouseLibrary
Title:What We Lose: A Novel
Authors:Zinzi Clemmons (Author)
Info:Penguin Books (2018), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Collections:ART (Art and Architecture), Your library
Rating:
Tags:F (Fiction)

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What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
As a college composition professor, I'd look at a collection of pages like this and say, where are the connections? That's why I hate teaching college composition. I feel like Clemmons is creating a new, exciting un-structure for narrative which allows her novel to be about thousands of things while still concentrating on the powerful point of view of our protagonist. I loved this book. ( )
  susanbooks | Dec 14, 2018 |
Very approachable book to deal woth the death of a mother and some racial insights. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Dec 7, 2018 |
I can understand how a lot of people loved this book for the emotional feel, but maybe I am more of an analytical than an emotional person. Much of the prose seemed to me rather numb or distant instead of deep. My main issue is with the structure of the book which felt more like a memoir than fiction and was rather thin. Also, it seemed very disjointed and lazy. There are some beautiful passages, but not enough to make this more than a 3⭐️ book. ( )
  redwritinghood38 | Nov 6, 2018 |
I really wanted to like this more. Personally and professionally, grief stories are my thing. Maybe my expectations are higher than most because I have read so many of these. I could not relate or connect to her. She seemed to be struggling to express her feelings but stayed distant from them. This was her debut, though. I have high hopes for her. ( )
  joyfulmimi | Jul 8, 2018 |
Actual rating: 4.5 Stars

“I've amazed myself with how well I've learned to live around her absence. This void is my constant companion, no matter what I do. Nothing will fill it, and it will never go away.”
Zinzi Clemmons, What We Lose

Clemmons's debut novel is compelling, poignant and reflective. It is filled with short, nonlinear vignettes of Thandi's life -- particularly after the loss of her mother to cancer. Thandi's father is African American and her mother is mixed race South African. As a light skinned young black woman, Thandi struggles with identity, belonging and the past. Through Clemmons's descriptive writing, I was able to grasp Thandi's grief, despair, and vulnerability. Even though race comes up in the book, What We Lose is about a lot more than race. It is about loss, grief, traditions, and how death plays a role in life. Clemmons is a graceful, and poetic writer. I look forward to additional work by this talented writer.

A huge thanks to Edelweiss and Viking for providing me with an arc of the book in exchange for an honest review. It was a pleasure!

For more reviews, visit: http://debbiesbooknook.com/ ( )
  debbiesbooknook | Apr 27, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735221715, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:18:32 -0500)

"From a debut 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, Zinzi Clemmons's heroine 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"--… (more)

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