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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (1984)

by Audre LORDE

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,128246,335 (4.36)55
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.… (more)
  1. 10
    "I Teach Myself in Outline," Notes, Journals, Syllabi and an Excerpt from Deotha by Audre Lorde (jillianhistorian)
    jillianhistorian: This is an edited collection of Audre Lorde's teaching materials, drawn from materials in Lorde's papers in the Spelman College Archives.
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» See also 55 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I think this collection is better rated on an essay-by-essay basis. The danger in putter them all together and trying to rate it as a lump sum is that some are better than others and there is repetition in some of the examples that takes away from the overall allure of individual essays.

I liked and appreciated Sister Outsider, don't get me wrong. But for myself as a reader, I think it would have been more impactful with each essay as a standalone. I get caught up in technical details and that takes away from the overall message, which is an important one. And definitely a message that should not be clouded by truly unimportant technical things.

Audre Lorde is an idol to so many for a good reason - she unapologetically speaks the truth and raises her peers, sisters, friends, and community. The conversations in these essays about inter-sectionalism, toxic masculinity, raising children, her sexual identity are all so important. Doubly se when we remember that these essays were largely written decades ago, and the gave a voice to so many people who found themselves trampled and powerless.

The importance of these essays - beyond the technicals of the collection and the unfortunate fact of some of Lorde's personal behavior in romantic relationship - is why this is a four star review. These messages are important. And they are worth hearing, despite the flaws of the collection or the author. They are so important. ( )
  Morteana | Sep 2, 2022 |
Powerful stuff, that is going to stay with me forever. A great collection from an incredible woman. That Lorde's words and insights written 30 years ago remain completely relevant and continue to be true, and her assessment of the truly rotten nature of american society and the world at large in terms of how people are punished for deviating from that mythical "norm" of young, white, able, heterosexual, male, and always pitted against one another, and how horribly evil American foreign policy has been with devastating suffering as a result...all of it remains true today and that is both extraordinarily visionary and profoundly sad. Progress and improvement does not happen on its own and in too many cases, is not happening. We must all fight tooth and nail for every bit of progress, social and economic. ( )
  liberation999 | May 6, 2022 |
"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 silence will choke us." ( )
  Monj | Jan 7, 2022 |
Probably more of a 3.5 but I am rounding up.

This was an interesting collection of essays, and I liked getting to know a historical perspective of feminism from a Black lesbian woman. The audiobook is narrated well too and I would definitely recommend the format. It might not feel as inclusive as we would like it to be, but it wasn't really a deal breaker for me. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
The only reason this is not a 5 star rating, is that the narrator of the audio book sounded robotic and inauthentic. ( )
  Bodagirl | Jul 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
LORDE, Audreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarke, CherylForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schel, TillyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Since I've returned from Russia a few weeks ago, I've been dreaming a lot.
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...poetry is not a luxury...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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A collection of essays and speeches by Audre Lorde.
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