Cover Image: How We Fight for Our Lives

How We Fight for Our Lives

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Member Reviews

High 4 stars

How We Fight For Our Lives is a powerful short memoir. Saeed Jones is gay and black. He grew up in Texas with a single mother Buddhist convert who suffered from congenital heart disease. This memoir spans Jones’ life from ages 12 to 25. Jones gives his readers a raw taste of his life in that time span, including the rough ride he got from peers in high school and his successful but self-destructive self-reinvention as a student in at a small college in Kentucky. Jones also delves into the strong bond with his mother and the fractious relationship with the rest of his family. I loved Jones’ honesty. I also loved that he is not self-flattering or self-pitying. I especially loved the last part in which he deals so honestly with the grief of losing his mother at 25. I hope Jones produces other segments of his life in memoir form. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
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How We Fight For Our Lives is a "coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power." Jones dissects his life for readers as he dives deep into his youth, his relationships with his mother and grandmother, and growing up in a culture that leaves little to no room for him to be true to himself.

This memoir is raw, emotional, and powerful. I'm so few pages, Jones bares is soul as he tells the story of his younger self's fight for his place in the world while trying understand who he is as an individual.

The content of this memoir is graphic, but not gratuitous. The graphic nature of the content is essential for readers to feel the pain, anguish, and vulnerability Jones experienced. These scenes become even more poignant once Jones links them to racism and power.

Overall, How We Fight For Our Lives is a quick, but powerful read as Jones bares his soul for all to see.
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This is a fascinating coming of age memoir from an American writer whose award winning debut poetry collection 'Prelude To Bruise' came out in 2014.  The author talks about growing up in Texas and the difficulties in being both black and gay.  He also explores his relationship with his Buddhist mom, who raised him on his own and his grandmother.  It is a glimpse into a life that will lead to a better understanding of others and a worthy read.
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What a truly incredible memoir! I devoured this in one sitting, couldn't put it down - couldn't turn the pages fast enough and really wanted more once I was finished. How We Fight For Our Lives is powerful, captivating, heart wrenching and also full of strength. I admire so much that these amazing humans allow us, complete strangers, to see into their world, to read their truth. This is a memoir everyone needs in their life. I highly encourage you to read this.

Thank you so so much Simon & Schuster Canada for my review copy! I'm blown away!
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This book is an honest and raw telling of what it is like growing up as a black gay man in the south. A rather short memoir with small chapters make it a quick and intense read, with each chapter leaving an impact. Jones is incredibly vulnerable in his writing and his storytelling; he's a beautiful writer and his prose is executed flawlessly. This is an important read and I highly recommend it.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster Canada and Netgalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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