She married in and divorced in , after having two children. Lorde first came to critical attention with her poetry. 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. Other early poems were published in many different journals, many of them under the pseudonym Rey Domini.
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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. The Cancer Journals consists of an introduction and three chapters, each featuring passages from her diary.
Understanding the early developments of her life and her journey to writing poetry, leads to a better understanding of her work on The Cancer Journals and its significance. Apart from the story Lorde tells in her book, it is also essential to understand her experience with cancer apart from the literary work. Her cancer battle serves as a catalyst for much of her work, and is thus an important aspect in understanding the bigger picture of The Cancer Journals.
Audre Lorde background[ edit ] Audre Lorde February 18, — November 17, was a writer, feminist, womanist, and civil rights activist. Her work mostly relates to issues surrounding the female black identity, as well as feminism and civil rights. Her parents were both Caribbean immigrants, and she grew up with two older sisters, Phyllis and Helen. She was the youngest member of the family, and was nearsighted to the point of being deemed legally blind. Growing up in Depression Era New York City, Lorde struggled to find her voice and turned to poetry and writing to express herself.
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. I would read poems, and I would memorize them. People would say, well what do you think, Audre.
What happened to you yesterday? And I would recite a poem and somewhere in that poem would be a line or a feeling I would be sharing. In other words, I literally communicated through poetry.
Her first poem was published by Seventeen magazine when she was still in high school. Lorde did not just identify with just one category, but many, wanting to celebrate all parts of herself equally. She was known to describe herself as African-American, black, dyke, feminist, poet, mother, etc.
Her idea was that everyone is different from each other and it is the collective differences that make us who we are, instead of one thing. Focusing on all of the aspects of identity brings people together more than choosing one piece of an identity.
It examines the journey Lorde takes to integrate her experience with cancer into her identity. She assesses the risks of misunderstanding or even ridicule against the comfort of silence. This chapter describes the emotions experienced by one without any close peers or role models through the course of diagnosis, surgery, and recovery.
She also emphasizes her decision not to wear silicon breasts after her mastectomy operation. This chapter centers around her decision not to wear a prosthesis after her double mastectomy.
Essentially, as described by Lorde, if a woman chooses to identify as a cancer survivor and then opts to use a prosthesis, she has begun to claim her altered body, and life. 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. She also speaks of the possibilities of alternative medicine, arguing that women should be afforded the space to look at all options, and negotiate treatment and healing on their own terms.
In describing her identity as a multitude of labels, black, lesbian, feminist mother and poet,  Lorde seeks to intertwine her battle with cancer into her identity. How am I going to do this now? Lorde touches on feminist ideals when she combats the societal notion of what a woman should look like and what her body looks like post mastectomy. See also[ edit ] Other prominent works by Audre Lorde include: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches , a collection of essays in which Lorde focuses on the importance of communication between marginalized groups in society.
In this work, Lorde pushes the idea of uniting these groups by finding common ground in their trials and tribulations.
The Cancer Journals
How am I going to do this now? She does do it, and her book radiates with rebellion, even four decades later. I do not have cancer, but I am a feminist and one diagnosed with an avalanche of overlapping autoimmune diseases. Sick writers, both male and female, have often reflected on how illness overwhelms their work. Does sickness, with its attendant infirmity, its gloomy shadow over the intellectual, represent feminist defeat? Her diagnosis comes months after an initial cancer scare and a lump that proves after a harrowing period of waiting and wondering to be benign.
The Cancer Journals Quotes
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. The Cancer Journals consists of an introduction and three chapters, each featuring passages from her diary. Understanding the early developments of her life and her journey to writing poetry, leads to a better understanding of her work on The Cancer Journals and its significance. Apart from the story Lorde tells in her book, it is also essential to understand her experience with cancer apart from the literary work. Her cancer battle serves as a catalyst for much of her work, and is thus an important aspect in understanding the bigger picture of The Cancer Journals.
The Cancer Journals record a new way for women to face ill-health