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 a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian. She is American, but doesn't feel as American as some of her friends. She is South African, but doesn't belong in South Africa either. Her mother is dying. Both raw and artful, minimal yet rich, What We Lose is an intimate portrait of love and loss, and a fierce meditation on race, sex, identity, and staying alive.