book cover of What We Lose

What We Lose

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Penetratingly good and written in vivid still life, What We Lose reads like a guided tour through a melancholic Van Gogh exhibit – wonderfully chromatic, transfixing and bursting with emotion. Zinzi Clemmons’s debut novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored." - Paul Beatty

"Wise and tender and possessed of a fiercely insightful intimacy, What We Lose is a lyrical ode to the complexities of race, love, illness, parenthood, and the hairline fractures they leave behind. Zinzi Clemmons has gifted the reader a rare and thoughtful emotional topography, a map to the mirror regions of their own heart." - Alexandra Kleeman

"I love how Zinzi Clemmons complicates identity in What We Lose. Her main character is both South African and American, privileged and outsider, driven by desire and gutted by grief. This is a piercingly beautiful first novel." - Danzy Senna

"An intimate narrative that often makes another life as believable as your own." - John Edgar Wideman


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Zinzi Clemmons's What We Lose

Hardback Editions

June 2018 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: What We Lose Exp
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-525-50505-9 / 978-0-525-50505-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Random House USA Ex
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2018 : USA Library Binding
thumb

Title: What We Lose (Thorndike Press Large Print Basic)
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 1-4328-4641-8 / 978-1-4328-4641-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 2017 : UK Hardback
thumb

Title: What We Lose (Harp02 13 06 2019)
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-00-824593-2 / 978-0-00-824593-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2017 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: What We Lose: A Novel
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-7352-2171-5 / 978-0-7352-2171-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

January 2018 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: What We Lose: A Novel
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-7352-2173-1 / 978-0-7352-2173-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2018 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-00-824597-5 / 978-0-00-824597-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2017 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
ISBN: 0-00-824594-0 / 978-0-00-824594-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

July 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon   


July 2017 : Australia Audio edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon AU   


July 2017 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   


July 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose: A Novel
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon   


July 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose: A Novel
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

July 2017 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


July 2017 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: What We Lose: A Novel
Author(s): Zinzi Clemmons
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA