We Are Bridges

Listen to a sample

What to expect

When Cassandra Lane finds herself pregnant at thirty-five, the knowledge sends her on a poignant exploration of memory to prepare for her entry into motherhood. She moves between the twentieth-century rural South and present-day Los Angeles, reimagining the intimate life of her great-grandparents Mary Magdelene Magee and Burt Bridges, and Burt’s lynching at the hands of vengeful white men in his southern town.

We Are Bridges turns to creative nonfiction to reclaim a family history from violent erasure so that a mother can gift her child with an ancestral blueprint for their future. Haunting and poetic, this debut traces the strange fruit borne from the roots of personal loss in one Black family—and considers how to take back one’s American story.

Critics Review

  • “A multiangled exploration of family trauma and the forging of an identity.”

    Kirkus Reviews
  • “In this evocative memoir, Cassandra Lane deftly uses the act of imagination to reclaim her ancestors’ story as a backdrop for telling her own. The tradition of Black women’s storytelling leaps forward within these pages—into fresh, daring, and excitingly new territory.”

    Bridgett M. Davis, author of The World According to Fannie Davis
  • “Cassandra Lane writes with the urgency driven to the page by the necessities of that first great art: motherhood. We Are Bridges is a book of history, and as such, it uncovers and recovers the truths no classroom teacher will ever reveal to the children who need to know them most…A love story, a book of how—in spite of every obstacle—black people still make themselves vulnerable enough to take the leap and fall in (and survive!) love.”

    Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition
  • “Cassandra Lane stretches the boundaries of traditional memoir. This is an important, beautiful work.”

    Lolis Eric Elie, former columnist for the Times-Picayune

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to get tailored content recommendations, product updates and info on new releases. Your data is your own: we commit to protect your data and respect your privacy.