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 the looming political and ecological crises of our day, Singh contends, we must break from the conventions we have inherited, and orient ourselves toward revolutionary paths that might yet set us free.
The Breaks celebrates queer family-making, communal living, and brown girlhood, complicating the US’s stark binaries. With nuance and care, Singh connects the crises humanity faces—climate catastrophe, extractive capitalism, and the violent legacies of racism, patriarchy, and colonialism. Drawing upon feminist autotheory and the Black epistolary traditions of James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Singh offers us her own generous invitation to move through the breaks toward a tenable future.
"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