The Cancer Journals: Special Edition

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9781879960510: The Cancer Journals: Special Edition
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Lorde's 1980 book, w/tributes by a dozen women

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First published in 1980, this new edition brings together posthumous tributes to Lorde from such writers and poets as Margaret Randall, Jewelle Gomez, and Barbara Smith, among others. The forthrightness and ferocity with which Audre Lorde greeted every social injustice is in full force in this courageous exploration of her breast cancer and mastectomy. Using the journal, memoir, and essay forms, Lorde gives voice to her "feelings and thoughts about the travesty of prosthesis, the pain of amputation, the function of cancer in a profit economy, confrontation with mortality, the strength of women loving, and the power and rewards of self-conscious living." Lorde powerfully weaves together the three literary forms, allowing her to leap from raw expressions of pain to her inimitably astute social observations.

Lorde began writing her journal entries six months after her radical mastectomy; they illustrate her process of integrating the crisis into her life, retelling her experience from detection to follow-up therapies. Lorde's most passionate battle was waged against silence. "This is it, Audre," Lorde wrote. "You're on your own." Where was the model? she asked, seeking another voice to speak to her experience. In The Cancer Journals, Audre Lorde has given us a rich, powerful model that is, alas, still relevant.

About the Author:

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) wrote eighteen books of essays and poetry, for which she won numerous awards, including the American Book Award for A Burst of Light. She received a Masters of Library Science from Columbia University. After working several years as a librarian, she became a professor of English-first at John Jay College and later at Hunter College.

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