Zinzi Clemmons and her debut novel, "What We Lose"

Credit: Photos courtesy of Viking Books, Penguin Random House

Growing Up And Grieving: Zinzi Clemmons On Her Debut Novel, 'What We Lose'

September 29, 2017

Zinzi Clemmons' debut novel, "What We Lose," is an intimate coming-of-age story centered around a tough and tender moment -- the loss of the main character's mother. The story is based on Clemmons' own loss and grieving process. The novel -- referred to as autofiction, a cross between an autobiography and ficition -- also explores love, identity and womanhood. Reviews hail the novel as "stunning," "inventive" and "poignant," and critics are calling Clemmons "a promising new voice." Callie Crossley speaks with the author about the themes of the novel and her avant-garde approach to writing and literature. "What We Lose" is our October selection for Bookmarked: the Under the Radar book club. 


BONUS CONTENT: Callie and Zinzi speak about why "What We Lose" wouldn't work if it had centered around the loss of a father.

Read Zinzi's essay on the black avant-garde movement she and Callie speak about on the segment:

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