Sister Outsider

Sister Outsider

Essays and Speeches

Paperback - 2007
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Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature.

In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.

These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to "never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is..."

"[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware." -- New York Times
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Crossing Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9781580911863
Branch Call Number: 814.54
Characteristics: 190 p. ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Clarke, Cheryl 1947-


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Also available as eBook or streaming audiobook; new 2020 edition is on order. (February 2020 selection)

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FPL_Amy Nov 22, 2019

Essential for your education if you're truly trying to understand and embrace intersectionality in feminism.

Dec 26, 2018

Easily one of my favorite books ever written. Lourde is a masterful writer and a brilliant social thinker. She shows us the way that all oppression is inter-related in a way that is disarming, honest, and real. She speaks to the best parts of the human soul, always reminding us that we do not benefit from ignoring or avoiding doing the work necessary to address that oppression, both within ourselves and within each other. There is a very good chance that this book will radically change the way you view the world. Loved it.

Apr 16, 2018

I would be lying if I said I could fully empathize Audre's struggles because being a black lesbian woman is something that's beyond my experiences. But reading this book is such a blessing because Audre speaks from her experiences and such a wisdom is definitely precious. The Eye-Eye chapter, in which she addresses the unsettling clashes between black women themselves made me understand several things about my own self as a woman. Very often than not, women treat each other as threat, not out of a conscious choice but out of a long history of brain washing that a women is worth only the Man she manages to get. Many such subtle realities of sexism or any "ism" in general can be understood better by reading this book. I was this person (way back in high school), who believed that Gays/Lesbians are just desperate people making stupid choices. I never intended this thought as an offence to anyone, I genuinely believed in it. Why? Because, I neither had met these people nor did the people around me correct me at this stage. Why? It's simply because our society either prefers silence or outright ridicule (that I have such stupid thoughts) than preferring a healthy dialogue in teaching each other about our misconceptions and growing out of it (though it did happen to me later in college, I think I just got lucky to be with better people). The following lines from Audre is movingly powerful -

" We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us."

I recommend this book to all.

Apr 15, 2018

Important collection of essays and speeches by the groundbreaking black lesbian poet/writer/activist. Includes some of her best-known pieces: "Uses of the Erotic," "Poetry is Not a Luxury," and "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House."

Nov 02, 2017



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