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How We Fight For Our Lives

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews
From award-winning poet Saeed Jones, How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir written at the crossroads of sex, race, and power.

“People don’t just happen,” writes Saeed Jones. “We sacrifice former versions of ourselves. We sacrifice the people who dared to raise us. The ‘I’ it seems doesn’t exist until we are able to say, ‘I am no longer yours.’ ”

Hardcover, 192 pages
Expected publication: October 8th 2019 by Simon and Schuster
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4.65  · 
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 ·  57 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In his astonishing, unparalleled memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives, Saeed Jones writes of making his body into a weapon, a fierce thing that can cut. In these pages, Jones also makes language into a fierce, cutting weapon. How We Fight For Our Lives is a coming of age story, it is a love letter to a black single mother, it is an indictment of our culture that creates so little space for gay men to learn how to be who they truly are. Most of all, this memoir is a rhapsody in the truest sense of ...more
Jun 05, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: most-anticipated
is it illegal to give a book five stars before even reading it?

Jessica Sullivan
This is a gorgeous memoir about growing up gay and black in the south, about knowing that the odds are against you and trying to carve a space for yourself in a world where “being a black gay boy is a death wish.”

For Saeed Jones, forging his identity was about more than just coming out, it was about living authentically in all the many ways—and about the painful journey of finding out what that even meant.

Jones’ life takes him from Texas, where as a young teenager he discovered his sexuality, to
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A coming-of-age memoir about an African American boy coming to terms with being gay. Saeed grew up in the south fighting to understand his identity.

How We Fight For Our Lives is a captivating read; you'll read about the up's and downs, the mental anguish, and the acceptance of who Saeed was and is now. The words are raw and flow beautifully; they really make you think about how we Americans treat each other and how being different is not so easily accepted. This memoir will stay with me for a l
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
More like 4.5. This is one of the most beautifully written memoirs I've had a chance to read. Tight, evocative, rhapsodic, Jones' recollections of moments, people, emotions punctuates so much deeper upon reading (and re-reading). This book is beautiful sentences *and* thoughtful introspection. It's a book to savor and to learn from. If you've read PRELUDE TO A BRUISE than you already know how economic and lovely Jones can weave a story but also relay a truth.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Saeed Jones’s writing and this memoir was no exception. At once beautiful and devastating, I didn’t want the book to end.
Brenna Gomez
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a gorgeous, difficult, and staggering book. Saeed Jones deftly ties together the arcs of his relationship with his mother and a coming-of-age story on sexuality, race, and violence and how they sometimes intertwine. The book is powerfully written in short chapters/sections with the devastating clarity of a poet. The language is evocative and beautiful. I can't recommend this book enough.
Diane Payne
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is a tribute to Saeed's mother, to himself, to the older woman he met at the hostel, and to his grandmother. Much of his memoir is about living with his mother who has a serious heart condition and needs a transplant, about coming out as gay, about finding himself through endless sexual encounters, and stepping out into a different world after his mother dies. The writing is honest, raw, and elegant When I finished the book it dawned on me, that when I left my jobs, I left my life in ...more
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“A friend told me once that after her father died, she cried so intensely, a blood vessel in one of her eyes burst. It had seemed like an impossible marvel when she told me at the time, but now I knew. Tears don’t always just fall; sometimes they rip through you, like storm painted gusts instead of mere raindrops.”

How we fight for our lives by Saeed Jones is hard for me to review, it was beautiful, wonderful, poetic, informative, and heartbreaking. The story is a love letter from Jones to himse
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

How We Fight For Our Lives leaves me with a metaphor I will never forget: using the body as a weapon. Saeed Jones spends a lot of this memoir describing relationships— to family, specifically his mother and grandmother, and to strangers, many of whom are sexual conquests. There’s a tenderness, fear, and timidity to his familial relationships that struck me; hiding discussion of his sexuality while also balancing vulnerable conversations about belief and illness. As he describes becoming new vers
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A stunning mix of poetry and prose that tells the story of Saeed Jones' fight for his life as he comes of age. I couldn't put it down.
Afton Montgomery
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Saeed Jones is a blessing, and this memoir is a blessing. I appreciate him most for refusing to separate queerness and grief into disparate topics for disparate projects. They are intricately intertwined, and Saeed knows it.

When my own dad was dying, I lamented not having texts that spoke to sitting at a hospital bedside. After, I lamented not having texts that related queerness to loss. This book is all of the things I wanted; it gives affirmation, it holds you by helping you hold yourself, an
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Saeed Jones’ debut poetry collection Prelude To Bruise (Coffee House Press) was the winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award For Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. The book was also a finalist for 2015 awards from the Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle. His poetry and essays have ap ...more