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The Breaks - An Essay

The Breaks

An Essay

By Julietta Singh
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Paperback : 9781552454350, 160 pages, September 2021
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770566958, 160 pages, September 2021
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770566941, 160 pages, September 2021

A profound meditation on race, inheritance, and queer mothering at the end of the world.


In a letter to her six-year-old daughter, Julietta Singh ventures toward a tender vision of the future, lifting up children’s radical embrace of possibility as a model for how we might live. If we wish to survive looming political and ecological disasters, Singh urges, we must break from the conventions we have inherited and orient ourselves toward revolutionary paths that might yet set us free.

"The Breaks is amazing—I read the whole thing through in one sitting. It’s got the heft and staying power of Baldwin’s 'A Letter to My Nephew.'" —Lauren Berlant, author of Cruel Optimism

“If a book can be a hole cut in the side of an existence in order to escape it, or to find a way through what is otherwise impassable, then this is that kind of book … How will we live in the new space that we keep making, through refusal but also adjustment, the necessary accommodations to the ‘nowhere and nothing’ that this space also is? The Breaks leads us through such moments, questions, and scenes, with tenderness. And deep care.” —Bhanu Kapil, author of How to Wash a Heart

“This is a lens-shifting book, an immeasurable gift. With poignant, aching, beautiful, and deeply loving prose, Singh brings Brown girls into the sun, and makes you want to change the ways of the world for our young people and for us all.” —Imani Perry, author of Breathe: A Letter to My Sons

“Julietta Singh is exactly the kind of company I want for the ride, to bear witness to the pains and pleasures of our being here, in these bodies, in these times.” —Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts, on No Archive Will Restore You


"This is a stunning work." Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Taking up race, physical vulnerability, queer parenting, and more, The Breaks is a wide-ranging, invigorating mix of memoir and cultural critique." Book Riot, THE BEST GENRE-BENDING NONFICTION OF 2021

“Julietta Singh troubles the boundaries that we imagine in and through the body, recuperating it as a porous site marked by flows between the internal and external, the self and others.” Los Angeles Review of Books

One of the Best Books for Adults in 2021 as chosen by the New York Public Library

"[T]his brilliant, bursting work (at once aesthetic and poetic) elaborates the need to practice other pedagogies--against coloniality, whiteness, liberal citizenship." C Magazine