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The Resource What we lose : a novel, Zinzi Clemmons

What we lose : a novel, Zinzi Clemmons

Label
What we lose : a novel
Title
What we lose
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Zinzi Clemmons
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A "novel about a young African-American woman coming of age... Raised in Pennsylvania, Zinzi Clemmons's heroine 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."--
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Clemmons’ spectacular debut is written in bursts, from single-sentence pages to sparse paragraphs, and combines photographs, diagrams, charts, articles, and blog posts to amplify an intimate story of personal loss into a larger narrative of identity, family, race, and socioeconomic access. Thandi is the daughter of a New York–born mathematics-professor father and Johannesburg-born-nurse mother. She grows up privileged as a “light” African American in Philadelphia. Her lifelong best friend is Aminah, their bond cemented by their parents’ friendship, which resulted from their fathers being two of the only five African American faculty at their university. Thandi’s mother dies of cancer while Thandi is in college, leaving her with a gaping emotional void that only intensifies when she, too, becomes a mother. Clemmons creates haunting authenticity by imbuing Thandi with autobiographical elements—parentage, life in Philadelphia, attending Columbia, her mother’s death—but through enhanced fiction, she pushes Thandi into global citizenry, shows her skin color to be a barometer of fraught relationships and race politics, explores mother-child bonds with brutal honesty, and even reveals cancer to be “a disease of privilege” elevated with ribbons and campaigns. Clemmons performs an exceptional sleight of hand that is both affecting and illuminating. -- Hong, Terry (Reviewed 7/1/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 21, p24)
  • Exacting reflections on race, mourning, and family are at the center of this novel about a college student whose mother dies of cancer. Born to an American father and a South African mother, Thandi is a character defined by conflicting conceptions of identity, belonging, and class, divisions that only deepen in the wake of her mother’s death. Early chapters establish these dichotomies in content and form, contrasting Thandi’s charged visits to Johannesburg with her Philadelphia coming of age by way of photographs, articles, graphs, and song lyrics. The first third of the novel culminates with Thandi discovering that she is pregnant, before then detailing her mother’s illness and how the resulting heartbreak ushered Thandi into an ill-fated long distance relationship with Peter, the child’s father. Peter moves to New York to marry Thandi and raise their child, Mahpee, but all parties soon glean the untenability of Thandi’s building a new family without processing the grief of her original one. Though too restrained, there are some inspired moments, and Clemmons admirably balances the story’s myriad complicated themes. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 05/15/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 20, p)
  • Raised by a South African mother and an American father, Thandi walks the color line. Then she learns that her mother has cancer. Debuter Clemmons, who has a second novel signed, writes on the Black Lives Matter movement for Literary Hub. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 03/01/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 04, p65)
  • /* Starred Review */ In this inventive debut novel, a young woman writes her way out of grief.As a "strange in-betweener" with two mixed-race parents—a South African mother and an American father—Thandi must navigate the majority-white suburbs of Philadelphia, where she's "often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian, sometimes Jewish." "But you're not, like, a real black person," she's told as a young student, confirming her feeling that she was "never fully accepted by any race." When her mother dies of cancer, Thandi must come to terms with the loss—including her strongest link to family in Johannesburg. Caught between two continents—between American blackness and South Africa's legacy of apartheid—she sets out to discover what makes life worth living after tragedy hits. In the process, she produces an honest, propulsive account of grief, interrogating the relationship among death, sex, motherhood, and culture. Written in compact episodes that collage autofiction with '90s rap lyrics, hand-drawn graphs, blog entries, and photographs, the novel pushes restlessly against its own boundaries—like Thandi herself. Clemmons manages to write with economy without ever making her book feel small, and with humor and frankness, so the novel is not overly steeped in grief. This is a big, brainy drama told by a fearless, funny young woman—part philosophy, part sociology, and part ghost story. "My theory is that loneliness creates the feeling of haunting," Thandi confesses during a rough patch. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, prepare for Thandi's voice to follow you from room to room long after you put this book away. A compelling exploration of race, migration, and womanhood in contemporary America.(Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2017)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10570593
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Clemmons, Zinzi
Dewey number
813/.6
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • African American women
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Loss (Psychology)
  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / African American / General
  • FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • African American women
  • Loss (Psychology)
  • Mothers and daughters
Label
What we lose : a novel, Zinzi Clemmons
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1825074
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
213 pages
Isbn
9780735221710
Lccn
2017019757
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780735221710
  • (OCoLC)966377329
Label
What we lose : a novel, Zinzi Clemmons
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
1825074
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
213 pages
Isbn
9780735221710
Lccn
2017019757
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780735221710
  • (OCoLC)966377329

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