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What We Lose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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 Loseheralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction."
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MelKelsey
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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We've all been there as parents! 😂

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MelKelsey
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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As she's losing her mom.

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MelKelsey
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

Well-written, this novel reads like a stream of disconnected thoughts, interspersed with tidbits of South African political history and story. Half of my mental energy was spent trying to understand what I was reading while the rest just enjoyed the writing.

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TheBookAddict
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Tookey finally move you guys, so now I can eat dinner and start another book. What do you guys think, does it look like the picture on the box or did I get bamboozled? 😆 🤦🏽‍♀️

#YesiReads

RamsFan1963 Definitely looks like a large cheese deficit on the actual pizza. 5mo
TheBookAddict @RamsFan1963 😆 right! The melted cheese is one of the best parts, but I don‘t have much of it at all. 😔 5mo
57 likes2 comments
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candority
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

I listened to this on audio, and unfortunately, I think that may have reduced my enjoyment. I have seen from other reviews that the book is structured in short vignettes, but the break between these vignettes was lost in the audiobook, which often left me confused and made the whole book feel piecemeal. While I found many parts interesting, I was expecting more depth in the exploration of Thandi‘s grief and relationships. I was underwhelmed.

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Cinfhen
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

Don‘t let this pretty cover fool you!!! This is NOT a happy, cheerful read. Told in vignettes ( without chapter headings or numbers) this is more of a stream of consciousness musings of a young woman coming to terms with grief, identity, loss and motherhood. Some beautiful sentiments but overall I felt detached from the story. I think the author‘s intentional use of short passages and jarring pacing left me feeling too disconnected.

Reviewsbylola Definitely not for me, but that cover!! 🥰🥰 8mo
saresmoore I really loved the disconnected, stilted feel of this. I thought it made the reading experience unique and gave force to the material. But I certainly agree that the insides don‘t match the outside! 8mo
Cinfhen I think I went into this book expect a full bodied novel so I was disappointed with the structure @saresmoore I guess I wanted something more solid 8mo
Mdargusch Like you said in someone else‘s review - great review but #nothanks 😁 8mo
115 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Cinfhen
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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I think @Reviewsbylola mentioned this technique of books without chapters. It‘s driving me crazy!!! While I‘m enjoying the story and the writing, I‘m hung up on pacing and lack of chapter indicators. At least Kindle is telling me I‘m at 31%😅

Cathythoughts Thank goodness for kindle 👍🏻♥️ 8mo
DivineDiana Love the Philadelphia connection, but I need my chapters!!! 🙂 8mo
TrishB Not into that either. No chapters or dialogue punctuation in a recent one I read. 8mo
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Crazeedi I really don't know if I could read!? It would be strange 8mo
Mdargusch I‘m not sure I‘ve ever read a book with no chapters. Sounds annoying. 🤔 8mo
Mdargusch I hate no dialogue punctuation @TrishB 😖 8mo
Susanita I need chapters! 8mo
MicheleinPhilly Still looking pretty gray in Miami. We have blue again! Yesterday was a TOTAL washout. 😞 8mo
Cinfhen Yesterday was HORRIBLE @MicheleinPhilly and today isn‘t much better although the sun looks like it‘s trying to peek out 🌥Hope you‘re enjoying 8mo
Cinfhen The book is written as vignettes/ stream of consciousness so maybe that‘s why the author eliminated chapters @Mdargusch @TrishB @Crazeedi @DivineDiana @Susanita @Cathythoughts but it‘s driving me nuts and it‘s taking me away from the book. I‘m almost done and I‘m not feeling it. 8mo
valeriegeary I have a love/hate relationship with chapters. As I writer I don't always see the point of them but as a reader they are must-haves!! 😄 8mo
Reviewsbylola No chapters is annoying but I could deal. However, vignettes and stream of consciousness gets a huge HELL NO from me. 8mo
MicheleinPhilly Sun went away and we‘re getting a light sprinkle now. Perfect time for a Bloody Mary bar break! 8mo
Cinfhen Love your professional insight @valeriegeary ❤️ 8mo
111 likes14 comments
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MoniqueReads305
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

Overall this didn't work on all levels. The characters, the plot, the writing, all didn't work. Instead, of feeling like a complete novel, What We Lose ends up feeling like an outline of a grander more moving tale. The backbones for a mother-daughter story were there but it was never expanded on enough to fulfill the promises described in the blurb. While What We Lose is a quick read thanks to it vignette style, it was not satisfying.

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MoniqueReads305
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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This months IRL book club selection. Having a cup of coffee and finishing up the book.

#currentlyreading

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Jasxnicole
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Was ready to start book no.2 for #aty2019 and then my second option came in off hold at the library ... so I‘m gonna attempt to fit in both 🙈🤞🏾

#whatwelose #zinziclemmons #whofearsdeath #nnediokorafor #aroundtheyearin52books #abookwithoneofthe5wsinthetitle #blacklitsy #blitsy

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Egleason
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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This February I‘m dedicating all my reading to black authors! Please leave any books that I can‘t miss. I love most all genres, nothing is off limits. #readingrecs #blackhistorymonth #blackauthors

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I did that last year, read some great books! I suggest the Fifth Season by NK Jemisin (scifi/fantasy). And The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (hisfic). These were two of the best books I read all last year. 10mo
ManyWordsLater Any James Baldwin. I read Giovanni‘s room last February. 💗💓💕 An American Marriage (Tagged) was pretty life changing too. 10mo
6 likes2 comments
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dastevensishagain
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

I thoroughly loved this book. The writing and quirky style, the beautiful, painful, raw look at grief, the glimpses of South Africa, all of it.

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violabrain
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

Depressing (dealing with the death of a parent, marrying the wrong person), but well done and effective.

PassionatelyCurious @violabrain This one got to me. Loved this book. 9mo
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CarleyKlein
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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This was the paradox: How would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me? The question was so enormous that I could see only my entire life, everything I know, filling it.

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Kimchacha
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
Pickpick

Beautifully written with such honesty that makes the pain palpable.

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TheLibrarian
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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#kindledeal - Even if it didn‘t sound interesting, I‘d still buy it for the cover. #coverlove

MelissaSue81 Yes! The cover is gorgeous. I‘ll have to check that out! 14mo
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TheLibrarian
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Late posting this but my #bookhaul from the day before my wedding 😬 What can I say, there was a bookstore near the hotel.

I‘m digging both these covers and the bookstore had them for 50% off!

Mimi28 Great haul and congratulations 🎊🎈🎉 🎁🎂❤️❤️!! 1y
tammysue Congratulations!!! 🎉🥂 1y
emilyhaldi Congrats on your wedding!! ❤️ 1y
See All 6 Comments
LiteraryinLititz Congratulations!!!! 1y
mydearwatson Congratulations! 1y
79 likes6 comments
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Samplergal
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed this lovely book about loss, of mothers, of love, of dreams. 4⭐️ #TwoInThree. #3

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mdhughes72
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

This reads like a mashup of The Mothers and Swing Time, which is a good thing. Despite Clemmons‘s ‘exotic‘ heritage this hit very close to home for me, as the MC reminds me very much of my own dear wife. To have experienced such a significant loss so early on in life — it casts such a long large shadow over everything after. Bittersweet (the emotion, not the book), but with an upward ending. An interesting companion to Fierce Kingdom.

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moarbookspleaze
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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My current audiobook.

Reviewsbylola 😍😍😍 1y
Texreader Aaaaaaah....another gorgeous cover! 🌼🌸💐🌷🥀🌹🌺🌻 1y
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CaitZ
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

In short, thought provoking chapters, Clemmons explores identity, love, loss, and grief. It is beautifully written and I read it in one sitting.

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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
Pickpick

This book is small but so full and substantial, telling a much deeper and larger story than it‘s size might imply. Her writing about grief and coping/not coping with it is beautiful and painful and would resonate with anyone because, of course, unexpected loss is part of the human condition. I loved that Thandi is far from perfect but in that way is perfectly relatable and recognizable. Heavy but good read. 4/5 ⭐️

saresmoore Great review! 1y
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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Siiiiiiiigh. #timetravelplease

LiteraryinLititz 💔💔 1y
alisonrose @LiteraryinLititz I knoooooowwwww 1y
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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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LoverofLit Great quote ❤ 1y
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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons

It wasn‘t sexism, she said (such a disavowal, I noted, was usually a signal that it was) ...

[Yuuuuuup.]

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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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OMG THANK YOU SHE ACTUALLY GETS IT RIGHT!!! I was recently diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia, and it‘s fucking maddening when people think it means “being afraid to leave the house.” (AHEM A.J. Finn, based on what I‘ve heard about your uninformed book.) Not going out as much is a SYMPTOM of the disorder, not the entirety of it. Most of us do in fact leave the house often! But it‘s infused with the exact fear she notes here.

mrsmarch My mom was diagnosed with panic disorder and agoraphobia when I was a child. It is ROUGH. Bless you sister. 1y
alisonrose @mrsmarch Thank you, dear 💗 It is indeed, and I‘ve got a great therapist but oy, some days ... 1y
saresmoore I loved this book! I‘m a fellow panic & agoraphobia sufferer. It‘s such a crapfest. 1y
blondie YES. I've read way too many "agoraphobia" books where they're afraid to leave the house. There's much more to it than that. I have agoraphobia as well. 1y
alisonrose @saresmoore @blondie It‘s so frustrating how much people simplify it! Glad to find others here who know what it‘s really like 💗💗💗 1y
35 likes5 comments
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alisonrose
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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This book is technically 207 pages, but a bunch of pages are just images or like four lines of text. Pretty sure I‘ll be able to get through this one rather quickly 😜 #nowreading

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24in48
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

Zinzi Clemmons' WHAT WE LOSE is a searing novel of loss and family, told in a series of vignettes that make it perfect for your #24in48 stack consideration. Heavy in subject, short on length and with varying style across chapters. #readathon (pssst... Don't forget to sign up at 24in48.com!)

24in48 Picture description: A hardcover lays on the ground under a green branch. The cover is a bright drawing of red and orange flowers on a yellow background, with the title WHAT WE LOSE in white text over the image. The author name, Zinzi Clemmons, is also in white text beneath the title. 1y
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BarbaraJean
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

This was beautifully written. The way Clemmons weaves the story together with digressions on grief, race, culture, history, and relationships is fascinating, but it‘s also the reason the book didn‘t resonate for me. The short chapters & frequent shifts in direction made the narrative feel disjointed, and while the structure echoes both the experience of grief and of being caught between cultures, it also made me feel disconnected from the text.

readingjedi Beautiful cover too! 1y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 🧡🧡💛💛 1y
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BarbaraJean
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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We were holding so much in, our pain distinct from one another‘s in so many ways. I suppose we thought that if we ever acknowledged this, all our carefully assembled control would fall to pieces. I was terrified of his pain—that of losing a lifelong partner, so many years tossed out the window. And I‘m sure he feared the destabilization of my loss—how much of my life yet to live would be marred by this trauma.

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BarbaraJean
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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I do not see the mother with her child as either more morally credible or more morally capable than any other woman. A child can be used as a symbolic credential, a sentimental object, a badge of self-righteousness. I question the implicit belief that only “mothers” with “children of their own” have a real stake in the future of humanity.

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Matilda
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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#riotgrams june 28: floral covers

TheBookKeepers Lovely! 1y
MicheleinPhilly FLURVE this book! 1y
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BarbaraJean
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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“The pain was exponential. Because as much as I cried, she could not comfort me, and this fact only multiplied my pain. I realized that this would be life; to figure out how to live without her hand on my back; her soft, accented English telling me Everything will be all right, Thandi. This was the paradox: how would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?”

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Briget66
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Love and marriage are completely unrelated enterprises. Marriage bears as little resemblance to love as competing in the Olympics does to your afternoon jog. Sometimes I think with regret of how our love might have grown if we hadn‘t driven a pregnancy, then a marriage—like two speeding 18-wheelers—straight into it.

rather_be_reading welcome to litsy!$ 📚🎉📚 1y
9 likes1 stack add1 comment
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bookandcat
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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^On life after grief, from "What We Lose" by Zinzi Clemmons

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MicheleinPhilly
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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#4NEWFavesIn4Days

This slim novel of semi-autobiographical vignettes is a “read in one sitting” gem. It won‘t work for everyone but it shook me to my core.

Bonus points for calling Junot Diaz out on his bullshit.

Cinfhen Ahhh, still on my wish list! I‘m sad about Juniot Diaz 😔 but if u read This Is How you Lose Her, he admits he‘s a total dog ( I just didn‘t want to see it) 2y
Kalalalatja I haven‘t read Clemmons book, but I have all the respect for her calling out Diaz the way she did! ✊ 2y
LauraBeth Respect to her! @Cinfhen this is how his PR machine is spinning it to save face. I actually think it‘s worse if he knew he was a dog but then did nothing to try and change his behavior, but instead continued to abuse his power by “mentoring” women writers. I threw all of his books away and will never read him again. Even his apology statement looks to have been written by a publicist. We shouldn‘t excuse him in any way. 2y
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LauraBeth @Cinfhen Not to mean that “YOU” were excusing him! But the general “we”. ❤️ 2y
Cinfhen I‘m not trying to excuse him AT ALL @LauraBeth just disappointed that a writer I enjoyed turned out to be a 🤬 2y
Cinfhen So yes! Much power to Clemons for calling him out! 2y
LauraBeth Oh I know @Cinfhen! Completely disappointing! 2y
MicheleinPhilly @LauraBeth @Cinfhen The lengths people go to to protect an abuser sickens me. The allegations alone were upsetting enough but then when you have the literary community essentially saying, “Oh yeah. Worst kept secret. Everyone knew he was a POS.” STOP PROTECTING THESE ASSHOLES! 2y
LauraBeth My problem with his statement is that he is trying to drown out her accusation by playing the victim card. Stop silencing the victim by saying you‘re a victim. It‘s proof that you‘re not listening to her. It‘s not a fucking one-upmanship. When most women are abused and speak out - they aren‘t believed. When men are abused and speak out - they use it as a justification for their abusive actions. 2y
BookishMe @Cinfhen that book is on my list for D Republic. Dunno if I would get to it. I have read his interviews and articles about him. Not his books. 2y
Cinfhen It‘s upsetting @BookishMe because his writing is really good but now it‘s tainted 2y
BookishMe @Cinfhen that's right ☹️☹️ 2y
ValerieAndBooks @BookishMe if you need a book for DR try this one by Julia Alvarez — I really liked it. 2y
BookishMe @ValerieAndBooks thanks so much! Have stacked it 2y
Centique @Cinfhen oh man, I‘m just hearing this news now. Such a disappointment ☹️ 2y
Cinfhen Right??? but somehow NOT shocking (I‘m sad to say) @Centique 2y
57 likes3 stack adds17 comments
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spinesvines
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons

This is what it's really like to lose. It is complete and irreversible. How pernicious these little things called memories are. They barbed me once but now that I no longer have many of them I am devastated.

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spinesvines
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

🍷🍷🍷/5 A debut novel explores 'what we lose' when we lose a parent. Good not great. I would have preferred to have more content surrounding her mother's illness, their relationship & the movement through grief. Although there are glimpses of these items, I wanted more. The second half of the book was more substantive. Towards the end of the book Clemmons begans to explain her movement through grief with beautiful prose & then the book ends.

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kspenmoll
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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#snowday #whattoread #whatsupnext
Although indoors watching snow fall, I do have work for my job. But in between, trying to make a reading choice. Help Littens!

Morr_Books I personally would go with Killers of the Flower Moon cuz it has been high on my TBR list for a while. Stay warm!!! 2y
kspenmoll @Morr_Books Thanks! Read no non fiction in February; unusual for me so I‘m thinking it‘s the right choice too. 2y
Tamra I agree with @Morr_Books 😸 2y
2BR02B I liked What We Lose, but I LOVED Killers. 2y
78 likes4 comments
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krismlars
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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This book has an unexpected format, and I appreciate the graphs used to describe emotion.

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LWagoner
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

A story of grief and the struggle to search for wholeness after a loss. Clemons writes this story in short vignettes that sometimes seem to go together and at times makes no sense to their placement in the story- very similar to the way grief makes us feel. This story feels like Clemons worked through her own grief story as she wrote these words. 3.5 ⭐️. Will likely read again.

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SarahSaysRead
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

A story told in short vignettes, about Thandi dealing with her mother getting sick and dying and the impact it has on her life. (That's not a spoiler, btw, it's in the book description.) Thandi struggles with identity and loss in a very open-hearted, raw way.

#grief #fiction #SouthAfrica #momsanddaughters #loss

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Ellen_C
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

A novel about dealing with losing your mother to cancer, and grief, race and class. Author pretty much lived this, and it shows in the power of her writing. It‘s beautiful and heartbreaking. https://cannonballread.com/2018/02/why-we-cannonball/

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readordierachel
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Seems healthy. This book is quite bleak.

Addison_Reads Ummm...well I guess everyone has a "type"? or maybe even serial killers need love? Just trying to find a less bleak outlook. ? 2y
readordierachel @Addison_Reads I appreciate the effort 😊 2y
68 likes2 comments
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readordierachel
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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I'm already reading several other books, so of course I started another one today. So far this is not what I was expecting.

saresmoore I really liked this one, but the style is definitely unique. 2y
readordierachel @saresmoore Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I think I like the format, but I'm still readjusting my reading settings out of "novel mode." 2y
merelybookish I liked it too and it's a pretty fast read, even though subject matter is heavy. 2y
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readordierachel @merelybookish Yeah, I can see blowing through this really quickly, with the way it's organized. 2y
Dulcinella I really thought it an excellent read. 2y
readordierachel @Dulcinella Good to hear! 2y
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Joyfulmimi
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Mehso-so

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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

saresmoore I have high hopes for her, too! I think I connected to this one because of her detached perspective. It reminded me of another young, emotionally detached novel-in-vignettes that I loved, 2y
Joyfulmimi Interesting @saresmoore ! The detachment is what I did not like about it 2y
38 likes2 comments
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Christine
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Pickpick

Life intervened, so I won‘t be reaching #24in48, but what a joy to spend an extra bookish weekend with so many of you! 🙂 I did finish this today, which seemed fitting because I‘d won it as a prize in the last readathon! I thought it was beautifully written and liked it a lot. 💛

britt_brooke Such a beautiful cover! 2y
drokka 🙌 2y
Christine @drokka So glad I finally got to this one! 2y
65 likes1 stack add4 comments
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KellyK
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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“I realized that this would be life; to figure out how to live without her hand on my back... ...How would I ever heal from losing the person who healed me?”

This paragraph breaks my heart. 😢💔😥

Briget66 Me too 😢 1y
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KellyK
What We Lose | Zinzi Clemmons
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Enjoying this as my first #LitsyAtoZ read of the year on this cold, snowy day in middle America. Hoping to share the couch with Amos... but not sure he feels the same about that. I know better than to try to join JJ under the covers on the bed... 😹❤️ #CatsofLitsy