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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series) [Paperback]

Cheryl Clarke , Audre Lorde
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

22 Nov 2013 Crossing Press Feminist Series
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. . . .”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Reviews"...it's been almost a quarter of a century since Audre Lorde's essays and speeches in Sister Outsider made an indelible mark on 20th-century literature. But the words of the black lesbian feminist poet seem as lyrical and unforgettable, and, sadly, as relevant today as when she first tackled everything from racism and homophobia to ageism and class dichotomies. A must-have book that every lesbian should read."—Curve Editor's Pick “Lorde was a brilliant feminist poet and intellectual whose theories on the power of embracing our internal contradictions as well as the differences between people and groups is the way to powerful coalition building and social progress.” —New York Post, Sunday “Poet and librarian Lorde collected 15 of her finest essays and speeches in this 1984 volume. With her poet's command of language, she addresses sexism, racism, black women, black lesbians, eroticism, and more. Still powerful.”—Library Journal, Starred Review“Audre Lorde is a passionate sage. I say ‘is' and not ‘was' because her keen insights continue to provoke and sustain us and give us courage. The reissue of this book is a gift to longtime admirers and to new readers who have yet to discover the power and grace and splendid audacity of Audre Lorde.”—Valerie Miner, author of After Eden and professor of feminist studies at Stanford University“[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”—New York Times

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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Reprint edition (22 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580911862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580911863
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Audre Lorde died in 1992 but these essays and speeches remain immensely potent testimonies to her bold, powerful and outspoken words as she confronts the patriarchal assumptions that might still reside at the heart of feminism. Taking issue with what she saw as the predominantly white, middle-class, Anglo-American nature of feminist activism, Lorde is a voice for difference rather than homogeneity, with her pleas to embrace the differences that exist beneath gender: differences of race, of age, of class, of sexuality, even of health (Lorde herself suffered from cancer).

Her voice is often unashamedly angry and yet there is always a plea for community, a hope of healing and a true ground for social and political change. Lorde is frequently uncomfortable reading as she forces us to reassess and expose our own ideological assumptions and blind-spots - but this is truly powerful stuff.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible essays 19 May 2002
By Scott Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
No poems this time around, folks: prose that gets under your skin and into your head. The late, great Audre Lorde, known primarily for her poetry over the years, wrote what is one of the most compelling books on sociology, sexuality, racism and the nature of human character and existence in the last 20 years. Her charges are damning, but dashed with more than a spoonful of hope when appropriate, and it is impossible to walk away from this book unchanged.
No New Age-isms, no agendas...just common-sense reactions to everyday experiences told in a way that not only everyone can understand, but in a way everyone SHOULD understand.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great intellectual testaments of the 20th century 27 Dec 2000
By Michael J. Mazza - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although Audre Lorde distinguished herself as a poet, her prose writings are an indispensable part of her overall literary achievement. "Sister Outsider" is an excellent collection of her prose from the late 1970s and early 1980s. This book brings together essays, speeches, journal entries, and an illuminating dialogue between Lorde and sister poet Adrienne Rich. While each piece stands alone as a complete and thought-provoking gem, the book as a whole constitutes one of the most extraordinary intellectual testaments of the 20th century.
Lorde writes from her perspective as a Black woman, a lesbian, a feminist, a poet, a mother, a teacher, and a cultural activist. Her voice is forthright and unsparing in moral outrage, yet filled with hope and poetic beauty. One of the core themes unifying this collection is her incisive analysis of the interlocking, overlapping axes of difference, privilege, abuse, and resistance. As she deconstructs such phenomena as homophobia, racism, and sexism, Lorde is both intellectually ambitious and down-to-earth; in her arguments with academic figures, she never forgets the real impact of discrimination and violence upon those who live outside the relatively privileged worlds of academia.
Each piece in "Sister Outsider" makes a unique contribution to the overall impact of the book. "Notes from a Trip to Russia" is a fascinating historical document from the Cold War era. "Poetry Is Not a Luxury" serves as an important part of Lorde's artistic manifesto. "An Open Letter to Mary Daly" offers an illuminating glimpse into some of the tensions within the feminist movement of the 1970s. And "Grenada Revisited" is a powerful counterpoint to the Reaganite view of a military action in the Caribbean. The other eleven pieces are equally thought-provoking.
In the essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House," Lorde expands upon the title statement by adding, "They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change." Lorde's powerful writings may just give us readers some real tools that we can use to bring about "real change"--both within ourselves and in our society.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Audre Lorde was one of the most amazing, beautiful women of this century. She is truly inspirational and mind-blowing. Sister Outsider is a book of essays, all of them really well-written, insightfull, and thought provoking. The essay that the "Your silence will not protect you" quote is from is in this book and it is beautiful. Please get this book, read it and tell others about it. "When I dare to be powerful and to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether or not I am afraid" -Audre Lorde
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most important books I have ever read... 23 Nov 2001
By Ms Diva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a compilation of material Lorde wrote in the 70s 80s. Lorde is one of the foremost writers on the subjects of patriarchy, sexism, homphobia and race relations that the West has ever seen. She talks about how to make change and helps the reader truly understand the situation of people who are underprivileged and discriminated against in our society. Of all the books I read in my Women's Studies classes, this is the one that stayed with me. It is at once intellectually challenging and accessible. I particularly enjoyed her "Notes from a Trip to Russia" and "An Open Letter to Mary Daly." The piece that has had the most impact on my life, however, is "The Masters Tools," which is a blueprint for change. She is giving us the keys we need to not only improve our own lives, but the world as a whole. Lorde's words ring as true today as they did when the book was first published. A must read!!!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Saving Lives 3 Jan 2006
By LastAngelofHistory.org - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"I have come to work on you like a drug or a chisel" wrote the late Audre Lorde. Her passing created a hollow space in my soul that is now full again, thanks to Audre Lorde. Despite the fact that 'Sister Outsider' is assigned in virtually every women's studies and gender studies 101, do not think it is dry, ultimately a mere 'academic' book. Audre Lorde lived in and for a radical poetics and a radical pedagogy. If you have not discovered her work yet, please get a hold of a copy. It might save your life the way it saved mine, and I am white, male and straight, with a fierce hatred of white supremacy, patriarchy, and homophobia. But never mind my repeating a mantra you have heard, simply read this book as soon as possible.
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