CBR Bingo: UnCannon
Sister Outsider is a collection of essays and speeches by Audre Lorde, as well as including a couple travelogues from trips she took to Russia and Grenada. My formal education never included anything about or by Lorde, and so this is the first thing of hers that I’ve read.
It was funny how many times I finished an essay and thought, “I bet this will be my favorite one in the book.” If you are willing to be open to what she is saying, Lorde’s writing will change how you think (even if you already agreed with what she had to say). I highlighted a lot in this book, and there’s a lot I will continue to think about.
One thing I loved about her writing was how conversational it is. When I hear the word “essay,” I think, “ugh, this is going to be boring.” Lorde has this way of writing as though she’s just sitting next to you talking to you, which I just loved, particularly in the chapters about Russia and Grenada. I was also so touched by the chapter about her relationship with her son and the parenting choices she has made. I think the essay that struck the most personal chord for me was “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.” This essay includes her famous quote, “Your silence will not protect you,” and reading it in context made it so much more meaningful.
On the surface I don’t have much in common with Lorde other than that we are both American women, and I know some people have critiqued this work as being hard to identify with if you’re different than Lorde, but ignore those people. Of course this book is challenging and depending on who you are, it may make you uncomfortable. But I think you’ll come away from it better than before you read it.