"Lorde's words — on race, cancer, intersectionality, parenthood, injustice — burn with relevance 25 years after her death." — O, The Oprah Magazine
Winner of the 1988 Before Columbus Foundation National Book Award, this path-breaking collection of essays is a clarion call to build communities that nurture our spirit. Lorde announces the need for a radical politics of intersectionality while struggling to maintain her own faith as she wages a battle against liver cancer. From reflections on her struggle with the disease to thoughts on lesbian sexuality and African-American identity in a straight white man's world, Lorde's voice remains enduringly relevant in today's political landscape.
Those who practice and encourage social justice activism frequently quote her exhortation, "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." In addition to the journal entries of "A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer," this edition includes an interview, "Sadomasochism: Not About Condemnation," and three essays, "I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organizing Across Sexualities," "Apartheid U.S.A.," and "Turning the Beat Around: Lesbian Parenting 1986," as well as a new Foreword by Sonia Sanchez.
"You don't read Audre Lorde, you feel her." — Essence
"Lorde's timeless prose in this collection provides contemporary social justice warriors the language, strategies, and lessons around resistance, through the power of intersectionality, a Pan-African vision, and — ultimately — through the power of love and radical self-care." — NBC News
"When I don't know what to do, I turn to the Lorde." — Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Bitch Media
"Whenever my mind is heavy with questions and my heart thirsts for nourishment, I turn to the writing of Audre Lorde. Every time I revisit the words of Audre Lorde, I marvel over how relevant they continue to be." — AfterEllen.com
"The self-described black feminist lesbian mother poet used a mixture of prose, theory, poetry, and experience to interrogate oppressions and uplift marginalized communities. She was one of the first black feminists to target heteronormativity, and to encourage black feminists to expand their understanding of erotic pleasure. She amplified anti-oppression, even as breast cancer ravaged her ailing body." — Evette Dionne, Bustle Magazine
"This was my first time reading Audre Lorde (finally!) and now I can't wait to devour everything she ever wrote. This was the kind of book that you end up highlighting so many great quotes, words you want to memorize, apply, breathe. Empowering read." — Litsy
In 1984, feminist poet Lorde learned that her breast cancer had metastasized to the liver. The moving title section comprises a series of journal excerpts that both frighten and inspire: choosing not to have a biopsy, she instead treats the disease with a stay at the homeopathic Lukas Klinik in Switzerland, consultations with more traditional medical specialists and alternatives like self-hypnosis. Her lifelong battle against racism, sexism and homophobia has armed her with the resilience to resist cancer, and thus "A Burst of Light'' becomes not only a chronicle of Lorde's fight against disease, but a view of one woman's sparring with injustice, whether the oppressors are the South African police, the American government or malignant cells within her own body. Although it rings out with passion, anger and hope, the lengthy title piece is sometimes rambling and repetitive. In refreshing contrast, three outstanding essays on black lesbianism, the parallels between South Africa and the United States, and lesbian parenting are politically specific and pithy.