Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Paperback)

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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Audre Lorde, Cheryl Clarke (Foreword by)
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Staff Reviews

I firmly believe that the answer to becoming a better citizen of the world is to read Audre Lorde. Start here, and when your brain is finished expanding by 1000%, take a deep breath, and then read her amazing memoir--or "biomythography" as she calls it--Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. She is my hero. She will be your hero too. 

— From Rachel's Picks

Sister Outsider is one of those books I wish I'd discovered ten years ago, which is fitting because it's a collection that's seemingly decades ahead of its time. Lorde writes brilliantly on everything from race to gender, from academia to activism. But what I enjoy most about these essays (mostly written during the 1970s) is that they reflect on such vital topics from the view of an "outsider" who is constantly excluded from the social movements that purport to help her. Her essays poke holes in white feminism and other areas of progressive lip-service that so often become whitewashed under the silencing waves of the well-meaning, while offering arguments and solutions as to what "outsiders" like herself really want from society, and need for their ultimate survival.

— From Nick's Picks


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

“[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware.”—The New York Times 

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 . . . ”

About the Author

A writer, activist, and mother of two, Audre Lorde grew up in 1930s Harlem. She earned a master’s degree in library science from Columbia University, received a National Endowment for the Arts grant for poetry, and was New York State’s Poet Laureate from 1991 to 1993. She is the author of twelve books, including Zami and The Black Unicorn. Lorde died of cancer at the age of fifty-eight in 1992.

Praise For…

“An eye-opener”—Publishers Weekly

“[Sister Outsider is] another indication of the depth of analysis that black women writers are contributing to feminist thought.”—Barbara Christian, PhD, author of Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers

Product Details
ISBN: 9781580911863
ISBN-10: 1580911862
Publisher: Crossing Press
Publication Date: August 1st, 2007
Pages: 192
Language: English