A short, intense and profoundly moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death – from one of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Thandi is American, but not as American as some of her friends. She is South African, but South Africa terrifies her. She is a black woman with light skin. Her mother is dying. In exquisite vignettes of wry warmth and extraordinary emotional power, What We Lose tells Thandi's story. Both raw and artful, minimal yet rich, it is an intimate portrait of love and loss, and a fierce meditation on race, sex, identity, and staying alive.