What We Lose

What We Lose

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"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."--
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780735221710
Branch Call Number: CLEMM
Characteristics: 213 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

As the American-born child of a South African immigrant, Thandi feels like an outsider wherever she goes. This pensive and emotional novel meditates on belonging, race, and the loss of a parent.

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Jan 27, 2019

"The void is my constant companion, no matter what I do. Nothing will fill it, and it will never go away." Impressive debut novel by Zinzi Clemmons, whose mom is South African and whose dad is American. It's short, but packed with insight and a strong sense of loss. Clemmons has publicly called out both Junot Diaz and Lena Dunham (Google it!).

Aug 03, 2018

Depressing account of death and other loss in a young woman's family. With the title, "What We Lose," you can expect this novel to be sad and is was. The author and protagonist come from a multi-cultural background, but I didn't find it especially informative or insightful.

Mar 22, 2018

A touching and brilliant novel that unravels in short bursts and spurts, and doesn't follow a traditional format or storyline. If you've had to face the pain of watching your parent(s) get sick, or pass away, this book will hit you right in the solar plexus. Parts of it had me outright sobbing. It's a short book, and a quick read. I got through it in one Sunday afternoon.

Dec 15, 2017

Now that I've finally got around to reading What We Lose, I'm disappointed to say that I didn't enjoy it. I understand the overall premise of the story but it was all over the place and read more like a culmination of journal entries rather than a novel. Now I won't go as far and say that I'd never read anything by Zinzi Clemmons again, especially since this is her debut novel.

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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