MEMOIR

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir

S. & S. Oct. 2019. 208p. ISBN 9781501132735. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501132759. MEMOIR
COPY ISBN
In this highly anticipated memoir, writer and poet Jones (Prelude To Bruise) begins with the influence of James Baldwin and what it means to create an alternate version of oneself. He describes a childhood spent alternating between the suburbs of Dallas with his mother, and summers in Memphis with his evangelical grandmother. With lyrical writing, Jones shows the impact of lingering silence around sexuality; gay was an unspoken word in either home. This is all set against the backdrop of the deaths of James Byrd Jr. and Matthew Shepard in 1998—if being black can get you killed and so can being gay, what does it mean to be black and gay? Throughout, Jones tells of slipping away from his mother and grandmother, of wanting a sense of newfound freedom. While college allowed this, it came with a physical and mental cost. An underlying question is: What does it mean to become someone else? Jones answers this and more, distinguishing memory from the present moment in the process. Gripping chapters on the complicated relationship with his mother, and her life with a heart condition, make for moving reading.
VERDICT An unforgettable memoir that pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the very last page. [An editor’s pick, see “Fall Fireworks.”]

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.