A pregnant Los Angeles journalist in her mid-30s constructs a family history for her unborn child from fragments of information and memories. Moving between the present and early 20th century rural Louisiana, Lane imagines the intimate life of her great-grandparents Mary Magdelene Magee and Burt Bridges—whose death by lynching traumatized generations of his family to come.
We Are Bridges is Lane's resurrection of her great grandfather's memory. Her poignant requiem has deep reverberations today ... Lane writes with a poet's sensitivity and her book is a must read for its gorgeous language alone ... With this debut volume, Lane has written Burt Bridges into history. We Are Bridges makes a stunning contribution to what must become our collective memory.
Drawing on family stories and scraps of truth, Lane reconstructs rich histories ... Her book’s short, emotive chapters reimagine the pain and suffering that her great-grandparents withstood. Lane expresses that she feels those bonds in her blood and bones, and carries each family truth as a lesson of survival ... an exceptional memoir of self-discovery through family histories, even without official records.
Though the interplay between the two voices is sometimes uneven, and the imagined scenes lack some of the poetry of the straightforward memoir sections, the text is still valuable as an investigation of the undeniable force of intergenerational trauma, especially as it pertains to the Black community. A multiangled exploration of family trauma and the forging of an identity.