How We Fight for Our Lives : A Memoir
by Saeed Jones


Overview -
From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives--winner of the Kirkus Prize and the Stonewall Book Award--is a "moving, bracingly honest memoir" (The New York Times Book Review) written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.

One of the best books of the year as selected by The New York Times; The Washington Post; NPR; Time; The New Yorker; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper's Bazaar; Elle; BuzzFeed; Goodreads; and many more.

"People don't just happen," writes Saeed Jones. "We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The 'I' it seems doesn't exist until we are able to say, 'I am no longer yours.'"

Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves.

An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that's as beautiful as it is powerful--a voice that's by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

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Overview
From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives--winner of the Kirkus Prize and the Stonewall Book Award--is a "moving, bracingly honest memoir" (The New York Times Book Review) written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.

One of the best books of the year as selected by The New York Times; The Washington Post; NPR; Time; The New Yorker; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper's Bazaar; Elle; BuzzFeed; Goodreads; and many more.

"People don't just happen," writes Saeed Jones. "We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The 'I' it seems doesn't exist until we are able to say, 'I am no longer yours.'"

Haunted and haunting, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence--into tumultuous relationships with his family, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another--and to one another--as we fight to become ourselves.

An award-winning poet, Jones has developed a style that's as beautiful as it is powerful--a voice that's by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze. How We Fight for Our Lives is a one-of-a-kind memoir and a book that cements Saeed Jones as an essential writer for our time.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501132735
  • ISBN-10: 1501132733
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: October 2019
  • Page Count: 208
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs
Books > Biography & Autobiography > LGBT
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - African American & Black

 
BookPage Reviews

How We Fight for Our Lives

In How We Fight for Our Lives, award-winning poet Saeed Jones (Prelude to Bruise) weaves a series of stinging, memorable vignettes into a powerful coming-of-age memoir. This intimate book, which details his experiences growing up black and gay in the American South, is a required and distinctly singular read.

Through flowing metaphors and dialogue, rich language and deeply personal family stories, we learn about Jones’ struggle for his identity—why he built a suit of invisible armor to protect himself when no one else would. Jones writes, “If America was going to hate me for being black and gay, then I might as well make a weapon out of myself.” Almost every passage feels like a fresh, raw wound, ready to leave a scar.

Each vignette represents a different stage in Jones’ blossoming life, and together they create a kaleidoscope of the difficulties that can stem from hiding oneself from the world. We travel with him as the child of a single mother in Lewisville, Texas, to his strained teenage relationship with his religious grandmother in Memphis, Tennessee, to destructive sexual experiences with friends, lovers and strangers, to his life in college and beyond, where he has yet to accept himself as a full person, rather than as a performer who needs to be interesting enough to entertain a crowd. Jones recognizes his desire to wear a mask early on, but it’s difficult to remove the mask once he has the chance.

Jones knows that accepting himself in a racist and homophobic world is an act of radical self-love, and this devastating memoir illustrates why such an act is worth the long struggle.

 
BAM Customer Reviews