What We Lose

What We Lose


When I was in high school I would listen to music on my CD Walkman (I KNOW) and pretend like it was my theme music. I would imagine in my mind what it would accompany me doing, and how dramatic it would be for someone to watch me move through my life with a soundtrack.

So when I read Zinzi Clemmons’ What We Lose, it was like I was watching her life with a soundtrack, and it was exactly as awesome as I imagined it would be. She was her own Morgan Freeman, narrating her journey through the loss of her mother and the recovery from that loss. We see her navigating her romantic relationships, her familial relationships, her education, her career, her health – all from the play-by-play perspective as if you were watching it unfold live.

This is a memoir but it’s so much more than a memoir. I tried to explain it to someone and the best I could do was to say, ” remember in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry starts to realize that his dreams aren’t really dreams, that he’s seeing life through the eyes of the snake or Voldemort? This book is like that only you are seeing life through Zinzi Clemmons’ eyes as though you are her.

I cried through many parts of this book because I was Zinzi and her writing will convince you that you are grieving deeply, that you are loving deeply, that you are detached, that you are lost, and then found. This book is an immersive experience that is worthwhile, illuminating, and breathtaking. It is a short read, but it will live with you long afterwards. Go get you some.

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