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What We Lose

A Novel
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
Length: 3 hrs and 47 mins
4 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)
Regular price: $21.00
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Zinzi Clemmons (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Zinzi Clemmons's debut novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored." (Paul Beatty, Booker-winning author of The Sellout)
"A piercingly beautiful first novel." (Danzy Senna, author of New People)
"This searing novel is a marvel that might change how we write and think about love, loss, place, gender and race for decades to come." (Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not a memoir ... Not a novel either??

The subject matter was compelling and relatable but the style yielded no connection to the characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very real & thought provoking

I enjoyed it, I thought it was very down-to-earth and very real and I especially liked it when she interjected with the African accent.
I enjoyed listening to her story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't even finish

I am not sure what book the positive reviewers read, but I hated this book. There is no depth or purpose to the writing at all. Total ramblings of someone that just wants to talk. Nothing is grounded or relatable or even worthy of sharing. There is no insight into her experiences; experiences and thoughts that were just thrown together like doing a load of laundry without taking the time to sort. Let's just throw everything inside and assume it comes out clean. Only because it is a very short book did I even make it 2/3 of the way through before quitting for something else....anything else...silence is better.

Really terrible. I was so excited to read this book and so unbelievably disappointed in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Blah Blah Blah

This book was about the relationships that we ultimately lose. The book did not have any highs or lows throughout it. Every chapter read the same. There were times when I wasn't even sure where the story was going. When the book ended I still felt that way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Loretta
  • Bakersfield, CA, United States
  • 05-13-18

so beautiful

As soon as I started listening I couldn't put it down. the structure was beautiful and the end indifinitive. Her situation and grief are so real and comparable that you find yourself looking for shadows of it in your own life. Thank you for this.

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loved it!

I kept meaning to read this and I even tried a hard copy version first but this audible book was amazing. I will definitely recommend this!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Difficult to stay in the present

The flashbacks maybe in vogue but there was an excessive number of them. It was at times difficult to keep track of what was present and what was history. Obviously she was very affected by her mother's death and it impacted every aspect of her life but listening to the book may have made it more difficult to follow.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Solid.

Not life altering, but good. Nice imagery and feeling but predictable. Straight forward story line and informative if you're not familiar with the apartheid.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

So very sad!

This amazing story's words sadly entered my heart although fiction... I was torn halfway through.

Read at your very own hearts risk. Great introduction to Mrs. Zinzi 😉

1 of 2 people found this review helpful