How We Fight For Our Lives

How We Fight For Our Lives

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.’ ”...

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Title:How We Fight For Our Lives
Author:Saeed Jones
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Edition Language:English

How We Fight For Our Lives Reviews

  • Roxane

    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

    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 the word, fragments of epic poetry woven together so skillfully, so tenderly, so brutally, that you will find yourself aching in the way only masterful writing can make a person ache. How We Fight For Our Lives is that rare book that will show you what it means to be needful, to be strong, to be gloriously human and fighting for your life.

  • 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 disc

    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 Kentucky where he went to college and embraced his budding sense of self, to New York City where he currently resides as a poet. The raw and candid content of his memories is conveyed in powerful, lyrical prose that leave a searing impression.

    While the primary focus is Jone’s own coming of age, this striking memoir also serves as a touching tribute to his mother, who raised him by herself.

    (Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.)

  • Traci at The Stacks

    This book is soooo good. Saeed Jones is a force. His skills as a poet is fully evident in the prose of this book. Sexuality. Humanity. Blackness. Family. Grief. It’s all in here. He is vulnerable and he is genius and just wow!

  • Jamie Canaves

    I read in one sitting, and woo this is one of those memoirs that will live with me forever. It’s raw and powerful and it’s out in October, and if you’re a fan of memoirs definitely have this one on your radar. He’s also one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter.

  • Philip

    Many thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. What a beautiful memoir from Saeed Jones. Coming of age, coming out, relationships with family, a son and his single mother. Racism, homophobia - external and internal. Without giving away any real spoilers, I must say it was genius of him to use his sex scenes to talk about the horror of racism. And throughout the book his Mom shines through which makes me miss my own Mom. What a brave young man to share his experiences

    Many thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. What a beautiful memoir from Saeed Jones. Coming of age, coming out, relationships with family, a son and his single mother. Racism, homophobia - external and internal. Without giving away any real spoilers, I must say it was genius of him to use his sex scenes to talk about the horror of racism. And throughout the book his Mom shines through which makes me miss my own Mom. What a brave young man to share his experiences with us. Very real.

  • Dana

    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 Si

    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!

  • Paris (parisperusing)

    It’s been a month since I read Saeed Jones’

    , and I fumbled so long to put words to its visceral glamour. When I first heard of its arrival over the winter, I needed it immediately. To imagine the amount of blood, sweat, and tears Saee

    It’s been a month since I read Saeed Jones’

    , and I fumbled so long to put words to its visceral glamour. When I first heard of its arrival over the winter, I needed it immediately. To imagine the amount of blood, sweat, and tears Saeed must’ve sacrificed to saturate these pages is beyond me. What emerges from that offering is a story of a gay boy coming into the blackness of his body, its starkest desires and demands, and an anthem of unsung single black mothers who must raise their boys to be their own saviors before it’s too late.

    Front to back, no other book has echoed so much of my own experience as a gay black boy like this. It took no effort at all to read Saeed’s story with an empathetic heart because I have been living this story in real time. There were so many instances I caught myself saying, “I know what that feels like too” and “Yes. Yes, that was me! That’s STILL me!”

    I was pricked with my first N-word assault by another white boy whose vestige still haunts me in the faces of white men wanting to be friends, lovers, or bringers of harm. I watched my mother’s smile dissolve in the face of financial and spiritual uncertainty, and the tenacity with which she raged at every whisper of my sexuality and my little brother’s autism. I, too, have submitted to the dehumanizing fetishes of white men that can drive a vulnerable black boy to hate himself and others like him. I know the sting of falling for straight men capable of nothing more than breaking our hearts if not our whole being. And above all, I still tussle with the prodigious fear of a lonely, loveless life because of who I was born to be.

    Thanks, Simon & Schuster friends, for sending me this remarkable book — and Saeed Jones, for sharing your light with the world. ❤️

  • Betsy

    I hardly ever say this, but this book was too short--I wanted more!

    is a fantastic storyteller, even when he is telling stories that are heartbreaking and difficult to read. His vignettes about finding his place as a young, gay black man from the South are powerful and vivid. There are age-old adages about how literature helps us understand others, and

    is a window into experiences that are completely unlike my own.

    I wanted more because the vignettes

    I hardly ever say this, but this book was too short--I wanted more!

    is a fantastic storyteller, even when he is telling stories that are heartbreaking and difficult to read. His vignettes about finding his place as a young, gay black man from the South are powerful and vivid. There are age-old adages about how literature helps us understand others, and

    is a window into experiences that are completely unlike my own.

    I wanted more because the vignettes left some things out. Roughly 2/3 of the way through the memoir, Jones frames a traumatic event as a turning point for him. We're only given bits and pieces of how his thinking and behavior changed after this event, so I wanted to hear this part of the story, too.

    The memoir ends in 2011, which seems like an odd stopping point for a very young man's story. Jones was born in 1985, so 2011-2019 is roughly a quarter of his life. I understand why he chose to end this memoir where he did, but I also wonder how he has grown since then.

    Read How We Fight for Our Lives if you're interested in a powerful account of the author's intersectional experience. (Readers should be forewarned that some content is graphic.)

    Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for giving me a DRC of this book, which will be available for purchase on October 8th.

  • Cortney

    So many thoughts but I’m going to keep them to myself since this is his real life.

  • Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell

    I'm getting a copy! I've heard so many great things about this book and can't wait to read it. :D

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