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The Selected Works of Audre Lorde
Audre Lorde, edited by Roxane Gay


Self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet" Audre Lorde is an unforgettable voice in twentieth-century literature, and one of the first to center the experiences of black, queer women. This essential reader showcases her indelible contributions to intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies in twelve landmark essays and more than sixty poems--selected and introduced by one of our most powerful contemporary voices on race and gender, Roxane Gay.

Among the essays included here are:

  • "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"
  • "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House"
  • "I Am Your Sister"
  • Excerpts from the American Book Award-winning A Burst of Light

The poems are drawn from Lorde's nine volumes, including The Black Unicorn and National Book Award finalist From a Land Where Other People Live. Among them are:

  • "Martha"
  • "A Litany for Survival"
  • "Sister Outsider"
  • "Making Love to Concrete"


Audre Lorde (1934-1992) published eleven volumes of poetry and five works of prose. Her constellation of honors includes honorary doctorates from Hunter, Oberlin, and Haverford colleges.

Roxane Gay is the author of five books, including the best-selling Bad Feminist. She lives in Los Angeles, California.


"Lorde’s poems, urgent and intimate, focus on the ordinary and the extraordinary, a range of subjects including love, death and dying, and police killings of black people with impunity. That the author’s masterful work is as relevant and necessary today as it was in the last century is both a tribute to her and a condemnation of a society that continues to oppress and marginalize black women." --Kirkus

"Any opportunity to contemplate Lorde would be a cause for celebration. The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, edited and introduced by Roxane Gay, arrives at an especially interesting moment, however. Lorde’s writing has rarely been more influential — or more misunderstood."  --The New York Times

"More than 25 years after her too-early death, many of the issues Lorde advocated for and articulated in her work are once again capturing national attention and demanding action. The ever-thoughtful, often brilliant Lorde hasn’t always received the notice she deserves. Ideally, The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, edited by one of her artistic progenies, the author Roxane Gay, will right that wrong." --BookPage

W. W. Norton & Company  /  September 08, 2020

1.1" H x 8.2" L x 5.4" W (0.7 lbs) 384 pages