Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a woman who wrote from the particulars of her identity: Black woman, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist writer. Sister Outsider is a groundbreaking essential contribution to Black feminism, Postcolonial feminism, gay and lesbian studies, critical psychology, black queer studies, African American studies, and feminist thought at large. This collection, now considered a classic volume, of Lorde’s most influential works of non-fiction prose has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories.In fifteen essays and speeches dating from 1976 to 1984, Lorde explores the complexities of intersectional identity, while explicitly drawing from her personal experiences of oppression to include: sexism, heterosexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and ageism. The book examines a broad range of topics, including love, self-love, war, imperialism, police brutality, coalition building, violence against women, Black feminism, and movements towards equality that recognize and embrace differences as a vehicle for change. With meditative conscious reasoning, Lorde explores her misgivings for the widespread marginalization deeply-rooted in the United States’ white patriarchal system, all the while, offering messages of hope. The essays in this landmark collection are extensively taught and have become a widespread area of academic analysis. Lorde’s philosophical reasoning that recognizes oppressions as complex and interlocking designates her work as a significant contribution to critical social theory.
From the back cover: This exclusive edition brings together a selection of Audre Lorde’s poetry and essays with “biomythography,” the form that she created in Zami: A new Spelling of My Name (1982). Zami combines the narrative power of biography, mythology, and history as it records Lorde’s experiences as a West Indian in America and the browth of her emotional and sexual resonance with women. Lorde tackles the complexities of her multiple identities in Sister Outsider (1984). It includes essays such as the often-anthologized “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” and “Poetry is Not a Luxury,” in which she declares that poetry is “a vital necessity of our existence.” Published just months before her death, Underson: Chosen Poems Old and New (1992) covers 30 years of Lorde’s poetry. Here she demonstrates her mastery of the love poem, but writes with equal passion and eloquence about everything from a simple conversation to the devastation of drug addiction to her identity as a black woman.