With unrelenting honesty and searing beauty, one of our most powerful voices offers us an African-American odyssey. Does Your House Have Lions? is an exquisite and at times wrenching work exploring the life of Sonia Sanchez’s brother—a vibrant young man who left the South for New York, immersed himself in the city’s gay subculture, and became a victim of AIDS in the first years of the pandemic.
Sanchez describes her brother’s alienation from his family and his illness and death from AIDS with her characteristic tenderness. Told in the voice of sister, brother, father, mother, and ancestors, it is the story of kin estranged and then finally brought together by their shared history of loss, separation, and pain.
This brave epic poem shatters silences surrounding gay sexuality in African-American families and imagines the possibility of reconciliation and love. It offers a meditation on the living meanings of journey, life, and death—an opportunity for all of us to find a way home.