Bringing revolutionary queer women, women of color, and underrepresented voices to the forefront of literature since Audre Lorde’s courageous account of her breast cancer defies how women are expected to deal with sickness, accepting pain and a. Moving between journal entry, memoir, and exposition, Audre Lorde fuses the personal and political as she reflects on her experience coping with breast cancer.

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And it made me wonder a little bit if the immediate recourse to a fake breast isn’t part of the deep, inconsolable wound that she carries to this day. And then again, on a more personal level, this book made me revisit my memories of my mothers battle with cancer, and of her reconstruction.

Jun 21, Shirleen R rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is gorgeous, unsurprisingly. This article about a biographical or autobiographical book whose subject was born in the United States is a stub. I’d never read them in their original context. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. The struggle to resist being labeled into a medical stereotype e. If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other.

During the s Lorde’s career as a poet took off. Her first poem was published in Seventeen magazine while she was in high school; it had been rejected by her high school newspaper because it was “too romantic” Lorde considered her “mature” poetry, which focuses on her lesbian relationships, to be romantic also. Retrieved from ” https: It deals with her struggle with breast cancer and relates it to her strong advocacy and identity in certain social issues such as lesbian, civil rights, and feminist issues.

Articles needing cleanup from May All pages needing cleanup Cleanup tagged articles with a reason field from May Wikipedia pages needing cleanup from May Articles needing additional references from January All articles needing additional references Pages to import images to Wikidata All stub articles. Then as now, it is other women who are selected to deliver the news regarding the requirements of conformity and compromise.

In this work, Lorde pushes the idea of uniting these groups by finding common ground in their trials and tribulations. One of my favorite quotes: Audre writes in a parenthetical, ” I have a permanent and inexplicable weakness for women with flowers in their hair. This book is an honest account by one of my hero’s about her battle with breast cancer and it features passages from her own journal.


Aunt Lute Books; 2 edition April 1, Language: Lorde helped me get past the grief of that loss. But at the end of the day, it is still cancer, it is still scary as hell, and it is still my breast that cancer took from me.

The book is about her emotional response to such a, then and now, life changing event. It’s raw and pained and unapologetic about both. Growing up in Depression Era New York City, Lorde struggled to find her voice and turned to poetry and writing to express herself [1].

The Cancer Journals – Audre Lorde – Google Books

Only now, I know “from what” that Lorde warned silence could not protect — from fear and from death. So glad I picked this up. They are inseparable from each other.

Lorde even finds a way of theorizing about the way women’s bodies, in particular women’s breast and hair, are made into the “containers” of femininity in American culture such that to lose them, women are made to feel inadequate. I just finished this book for the freshman seminar course as a teaching assistant.

The Cancer Journals record a new way for women to face ill-health

During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Audre Lorde has been, and is, one of these women, flowin through my life a mile wide and a continent long. To ask other readers questions about The Cancer Journalsplease sign up. The violence is not limited to the excision; beyond the fog of pain lie the expectations of a culture that wants, even demands, that women look a certain way. Sick writers, both male and female, have often reflected on how illness overwhelms their work.

Common terms and phrases accept Ace bandage Adrienne afraid American Cancer American Cancer Society anesthesia Audre Lorde Aunt Lute bandage become believe biopsy black lesbian feminist body breast prostheses breast reconstruction breast removed breast surgery CANCER JOURNALS carcinogenic chest cold concern Dahomey death decision despair dreams energy examine experience eyes face fear feel felt fight Frances give hospital Hunter College hurt inside knew Kwanza lambswool left breast less Li’l Sister living look loss malignant mastectomy means ment metic modified radical mastectomy mortality mourn never nurse one-breasted ourselves pajama top physical pain plastic surgeons possible post-mastectomy women psychic Reach For Recovery reality remember right breast scars shared silence into language silicone gel sleep sometimes speak strength survival therapies thing tion told transformation of silence tumor voice want to write wearing a prosthesis weeks Winnie Mandela wish woman words zymes.


I lov I was interviewing for a summer day camp counselor job in college and just finished reading this book. After working several years as a librarian, she became a professor of English-first at John Jay College and later at Hunter College.

Who can ever really have power over me again? Nov 03, Amy rated it really liked it Shelves: How Cancer Becomes Us. And why was I being force-fed reconstructive surgery? Although Lorde speaks specifically in terms of a women’s experiences with cancer and fighting against societal perceptions of womenI found that this book can provide supportive and empowering insight for anyone dealing with disease and physical malady.

auntlutebooks | The Cancer Journals

As always, I am awed by her strength and the strength she gained from other women. Women of Color Press, the first U. From inside the book. But close enough to know her power, to feel the constant tug of her mystery, to have the very way I understand my world shaped by her presence just off to the west. Around the age of twelve, she began writing her own poetry and connecting with others at her school who were considered “outcasts,” as she felt she was.

Audre Lorde really hits the nail on the head when she writes: Dec 27, Lightreads rated it it was ok Shelves: See all 16 reviews.

The message is clear: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. People would say, well what do you think, Audre. But it also bothered me on a fundamental level, which I finally identified juornals the same place that will never be able to align itself with traditional feminism. I love reading such a powerful book from audge feminist perspective.

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.