How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones

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.’ ”Haunted and haunting, Jones’s memoir tells the story of a ...

Details How We Fight For Our Lives

TitleHow We Fight For Our Lives
Release DateOct 8th, 2019
PublisherSimon and Schuster
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, LGBT, Race, GLBT, Queer

Reviews How We Fight For Our Lives

  • 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,...
  • Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestHOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES is such a great memoir. It's everything a "good" memoir should be-- sensual, moving, thoughtful, provoking, erotic, intense, and unique-- but it also opens up many meaningful discussions and dialogues about what it means to be black, what it means to be gay, what it means to be both, and how it feels to be part of a group that is singled out, even from within member...
  • Betsy
    Tell me more, please! I hardly ever say this, but this book was too short--I wanted more! Saeed Jones 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 How We Fight For Our Lives is a window into experiences that ...
  • Paris (parisperusing)
    It brings me great pain and joy to know Saeed Jones’ How We Fight For Our Lives will be set upon us all. Pain for the collective loss and sorrow gay black boys have suffered, and joy in knowing that it is stories like these that will set us free.It’s been a month since I read Saeed Jones’ How We Fight For Our Lives, 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 imm...
  • Sahitya
    Wow ... I didn’t know what I was expecting from this memoir but this was so much more. It’s the story of the author’s life told by navigating through important moments of his life and the ultimate thread overall is his relationship with his beloved single mother. You can clearly see Jones is a poet because even his prose is stunningly beautiful and evocative - literally brimming with feelings like desperation, confusion, longing, fear and g...
  • Robert Sheard
    I worried because of Jones's background in poetry that his memoir might be too abstract, too poem-like for me. But absolutely not. The prose is powerful, clean, laser-sharp in terms of imagery and theme. If anything, the fault with this book is that it's too short. The writing's so good, I just wanted more of it. It begins as the story of a black boy in Texas (age 12 or 13), a black gay boy in Texas, and how that makes Jones feel both alone and t...
  • Cortney
    So many thoughts but I’m going to keep them to myself since this is his real life.
  • 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!
  • 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. Wh...
  • 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.
  • 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 yo...
  • Rosa Kwak
    beautiful, heart wrenching, and hopeful . memoirs are such a vulnerable invitation to one’s life and i’m so utterly grateful that saeed jones decided to write this. i couldn’t put this book down because it demands your attention in ways that not a lot of memoirs have the power to do so. how to write about pain and heartbreak in a way that confronts the absolute confusion that occurs when we are at our most overwhelmed. grab your tissues and...
  • 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,...
  • Vicki
    What an insight into growing up gay and black, with a Christian grandmother and a Buddhist mother. I understand why Saeed Jones titled his memoir How We Fight For Our Lives and it drives home the something that I tuned into in a book I read yesterday called From Lukov with Love, and that is that sometimes we lose "who we are" in order to satisfy others and who they want us to be. I felt for Saeed as a young black man and what he might have experi...
  • Sam
    Jones has written a moving and honest work here which has won the 2019 Kirkus Prize for nonfiction, but I don't think it brought enough new material to the table to warrant a more than average distinction. Memoirs seem to be popular at present and this year I have read read several that vary little in form or content. In this case I am choosing not to round up simply because the book is an award winner.
  • Allison
    This book is fantastic. There are so many moments of pure genius and poetry, and lines I will never forget. Jones really captures what it feels like to not feel present in yourself and the life you are living. It is beautifully both specific and universal.
  • Nadine
    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 f...
  • Bonnie Brody
    Saeed Jones has written a poignant and very personal memoir about being a gay black man. He records his difficulty coming out to his mother and the personal anxieties that plagued him while growing up. "Just as some cultures have hundred words for 'snow', there should be a hundred words in our language for all the ways a black boy can lay awake at night".The author wins a scholarship to a Kentucky State University to b on their debate team. Once ...
  • Brandy
    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 easi...
  • Charlott
    4,5"Boys like us never really got away, it seemed. We just bought ourselves time. A few more gasps of air, a few more poems, a few more years. History hurt more than any weapon inflicted on us. It hit back harder than any weapon we could wield, any weapon we could ourselves turn into."For memoir-lovers 2019 has been a fantastic year - as@readrunsea also pointed out today in her review of Saeed Jones' How We Fight For Our Lives. Jones memoirspecif...
  • Jennifer
    This memoir will get a lot of comparison to Kiese Laymon's Heavy, and for good reason, but to my taste, I prefer this book. We learn the story of Saeed Jones's coming of age as a black gay man in Texas at a time when white supremacists are still dragging innocent black men down the streets behind their pick-up trucks and, in another part of the country, Matthew Shepard has been killed by yet another group of ignorant white men on the heels of the...
  • Maggie Chidester
    Gorgeously breathtaking. Couldn’t stop listening. The ending made me an absolute wreck. Call your mom. Saeed Jones is an amazing, amazing writer.See full review at @babewithabookandabeer on Instagram. Thanks @librofm and for an ALC for a review.
  • Kyle Smith
    Fantastic book. Beautiful writing. Sadly brief.
  • Judy Robbins
    An astonishingly beautiful memoir. Jones lets us into the deepest parts of his life with such beauty and thoughtfulness and light. This book is a gift, and I admire the courage it must have taken to not only write this, but to put it into the world.
  • Sarah
    I received a review copy of this book from the publisher; opinions are my own.Y'all. 2019 has been a *year* for memoirs. We got T Kira Madden's LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS. We got Esmé Weijun Wang's THE COLLECTED SCHIZOPHRENIAS. We got Sarah M Broom's THE YELLOW HOUSE. We got Tegan and Sara's HIGH SCHOOL. We got Jaquira Díaz's ORDINARY GIRLS. We got Carmen Maria Machado's IN THE DREAM HOUSE. And we got this burning flame of a book. ...
  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
    Really well written and fascinating memoir, particularly enjoyed it as an audiobook as the author narrates! Highly recommend!
  • SibylM
    4.5 stars. Wow! Saeed Jones's writing is just impeccable. Never cold or distant, it is like you are reading his heart. There is anger in this book but so much love, too. I feel like I've gained a new window and a new perspective, always a wonderful feeling when you put down a book. Highly recommended. I received an ARC from the publisher via a Goodreads giveaway and an honest review was requested.
  • Samantha
    Poets writing prose forever, please! Since reading his poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise, I've been waiting for more writing from Saeed Jones and was so happy to get an ARC of his memoir. This is an honest, powerfully written account of his experience growing up in north Texas (my hood!) as a gay, Black man. It's a letter to his mother, which reminds me of a few other awesome recent releases (Kiese Laymon's Heavy and Ocean Vuong's On Earth We'...
  • Brandee
    I met Saeed this morning at an ALA panel on memoirs. He and the other panelists had me tearing up. I skipped an afternoon session to read his book and just finished it before bed. Again I am in tears.His writing is as easy to read as he is quick to smile. I am so glad I got to see him laughing and smiling in person after reading his book. His emotions are so palpable as you read each of the four acts. It's not just his story. It is that of his mo...
  • Stephanie
    This book was too short: I could have spent a lot more time with his story, raw and painful as it is. The love and harm that comes from family; the love and harm that comes from friends; the love and harm that comes from lovers: in some ways, those themes are universal, but there is nothing universal about the specific, fraught experience of being a young black gay boy, and then man. There is nowhere safe for Saeed Jones. This is a story about pa...