Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: October 8, 2019
From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.
“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, Jones’s memoir tells the story of 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 mother and grandmother, 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.
Blending poetry and prose, Jones has developed a style that is equal parts sensual, beautiful, and 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.
How We Fight For Our Lives is a “coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.” Jones dissects his life for readers as he dives deep into his youth, his relationships with his mother and grandmother, and growing up in a culture that leaves little to no room for him to be true to himself.
This memoir is raw, emotional, and powerful. I’m so few pages, Jones bares is soul as he tells the story of his younger self’s fight for his place in the world while trying understand who he is as an individual.
The content of this memoir is graphic, but not gratuitous. The graphic nature of the content is essential for readers to feel the pain, anguish, and vulnerability Jones experienced. These scenes become even more poignant once Jones links them to racism and power.
Overall, How We Fight For Our Lives is a quick, but powerful read as Jones bares his soul for all to see.
***I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.