How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir

Saeed Jones. Simon & Schuster, $26 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5011-3273-5
Poet Jones (Prelude to Bruise) explores sexual identity, race, and the bond between a mother and child in a powerful memoir filled with devastating moments. As a gay African-American boy growing up in Texas, Jones struggled to find his way. In 1998, at age 12, “I thought about being gay all the time,” he writes, but at home the subject was taboo. Here, Jones candidly discusses his coming of age, his sexual history, and his struggle to love himself. He describes engaging in destructive behavior in college, including repeated relations with a sadistic, racist man, and their encounters graphically illustrate how sex and race can be used as weapons of hate. Jones writes that, at that grim time in his life, he appeared to others to be a happy young man: “Standing in front of the mirror, my reflection and I were like rival animals, just moments away from tearing each other limb from limb.” Jones beautifully records his painful emergence into adulthood and, along the way, he honors his mother, a single parent who struggled to support him financially, sometimes emotionally, but who loved him unconditionally until her death in 2011. Jones is a remarkable, unflinching storyteller, and his book is a rewarding page-turner. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 05/31/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 978-1-5011-3275-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9744-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9914-1
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