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' memoir tells the story of a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence - into tumultuous relationships with his mother and grandmother, into passing flings with lovers, friends, and strangers. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another - and to one another - as we fight to become ourselves. Blending poetry and prose, Jones has developed a style that is equal parts sensual, beautiful, and powerful - a voice that's by turns a river, a blues, and a nightscape set ablaze.