Saeed Jones’s memoir HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES is powerful, raw, and unlike anything I have ever read. Though a slim book, Jones packs story after story with life, meaning, and some fricking beautiful writing!
HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES is a coming-of-age memoir about being a gay, black man in the US. Jones writes about his boyhood and young adult life in the South and his at times turbulent relationships with his family, friends, and lovers as a way to explore race and queerness. The memoir is funny and charming at times. His relationship with his single mother is beautifully represented, his love for her is palpable. But, this book is also very dark and challenging. Jones expertly depicts the hopelessness and fear that comes from living in a world that will not only not accept you as you are but actively fights against you.
As a gay person reading HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES, I could identify with many aspects of the book. Especially when Jones was a kid and went to the library to research being gay, honestly, that hit close to home for me #gaynerd!! Jones truthfully presents his sexuality and sexual experiences as a gay man because it’s important to not only his story but to queer stories in general. But as a white person, there was so much difference from my experience and I found that Jones does an impeccable job diving into the complex and important analysis of race and queerness.
HOW WE FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES ticks all the boxes for me: it’s beautifully written; the story is powerful, important, and essential; and it’s definitely a book I will revisit again and again. I can’t praise this book enough! Just go out there are read it and definitely keep an eye on Saeed Jones, he’s the real deal!
** Simon and Schuster provided the book for honest review
- Title: How We Fight For Our Lives
- Author: Saeed Jones
- Published: October 8, 2019 (Simon and Schuster)
- Genre: memoir, LGBT, queer, nonfiction
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * * *