For readers of Ross Gay and listeners of Therapy for Black Girls, a reflective examination of Black self-love and joy that guides the reader to ditch old beliefs, achieve difficult unlearnings and redefine language, relationships and love to find their own unique path to joy.
A warm, candid and essential book that will guide the reader to carve a new path to joy as unique as each individual. Created by the founder of Breathing Space Creative Literary Studio, acclaimed writer and editor Chelene Knight, Let It Go draws on personal experience and the advice of leaders from various Black communities to share hard-won tools for joy-discovery—tools such as how to say no with love; how to call back activities that feel good; how to reshape communication with those closest to you; how to revise language; and most of all, how to learn to let go in order to redefine what we think joy is.
Organized around the seasons and the natural cycle of reflection and renewal, Let It Go showcases, through conversation and solitary reflection, the broad spectrum of Black realities and reveals the colourful kaleidoscope of joy and your own ways to find it.
From Let It Go:
“My own path to joy has been blurred by hardship, but part of my journey is that I refuse to believe that all of my negative experiences are tethered to being a Black woman, even though it can feel like this, even when some people want me to feel like this. And when I feel it, it’s a pain that swells and refuses to subside. I didn’t learn this on my own and I don’t think I can unlearn it on my own. But I’m willing to do the work. I want my joy as I find it; I want my joy as it comes. I’m willing to let the wind push me backwards through the difficult moments. Maybe there’s something big holding you back too. Take a breath. What is it? Maybe we can let go, together.”
About the author
CHELENE KNIGHT is the author of the novel Junie, which was longlisted for the inaugural Carol Shields Prize for Fiction; the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award and longlisted for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature; and Braided Skin. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American publications. Previously the managing editor at Room magazine and the director of the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver, Knight has also worked as a poetry professor at the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia and as a literary agent at the Transatlantic Agency. Knight has now founded her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative, through which she’s launched the Forever Writers Club, a membership for writers focused on creative sustainability; the Thrive coaching program; and the Rise author care program.
“This book is a wonder. It is simultaneously a celebration of one woman's becoming and an invitation for all of us to rediscover our joy. Chelene Knight has given us a workbook for the soul. It feels relevant yet ancient, profound yet accessible, practical yet never preachy. A much-needed transmission from the ancestors.” — Antonio Michael Downing, author of Saga Boy
“Let It Go excavated pieces of my insides that I didn’t know even existed. The way Chelene Knight weaves her narrative while guiding us––her friends, not merely readers––to explore, unlearn, and rethink our experiences and futures is truly refreshing. . . . I am so grateful that Let It Go came into my life when it did. A true North Star.” — Matthew R. Morris, author of Black Boys Like Me
“A brilliantly crafted revolution, where Blackness is cause for celebration and elevation. You leave these pages with confirmation of the external spaces in which you belong, and the internal places where you can let things go and find your joy.” — Wanda Taylor, author of The Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children: The Hurt, the Hope, and the Healing
“Let It Go is a bountiful harvest: brimming with tips on how to be your best self. Drawing from the voices of Black creatives and offering us the gems from her intimate conversations with them, Chelene Knight generously shares with us a blueprint for growing and trusting in your own intuitive voice. A truly joyful book.” — Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC, and author of May It Have a Happy Ending