At the age of four, she learned to talk while she learned to read, and her mother taught her to write at around the same time. She wrote her first poem when she was in the eighth grade. Born Audrey Geraldine Lorde, she chose to drop the "y" from her first name while still a child, explaining in Zami: A New Spelling of My Name that she was more interested in the artistic symmetry of the "e"-endings in the two side-by-side names "Audre Lorde" than in spelling her name the way her parents had intended. She spent very little time with her father and mother, who were both busy maintaining their real estate business in the tumultuous economy after the Great Depression. When she did see them, they were often cold or emotionally distant.
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Shelves: feminism , favourites , grsm-lgbtqia , bechdel-pass , caribbean I did not know this was a book about love. I must add that these things are not separable. I cannot in any kind of I did not know this was a book about love. I cannot in any kind of faith tease it out as a strand. Audre writes of loving women inside all these other shells and spaces and non-spaces, all these stiflings and terrors and sufferings, all these joys and expansions into self and glory. She and her friends and lovers invent the sisterhood the feminist movement obsessed about decades later.
In this anthology Cupcakes And Kalashnikovs I read a vignette from Zami in which Audre aged 12 and her sisters and parents go to Washington to celebrate graduations from grade and high school. They go into an ice cream parlour and they are not served because they are black. Reading this episode in context, I can see that it is entirely toothless and for the anthology to include it as one of the woefully few items that deal with race now seems utterly reactionary. This manifestation of legal racism was soon to be swept away, thanks to pressure of black activism.
It seems to me that racially charged situations that makes whites feel embarrassed are good leverage, while aspects of racism that only benefit whites are more difficult to combat.
Such words lead towards a sweeter way of being.
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Lorde is legally blind from a very young age, isolating her even further from her surroundings and a family from which she does not receive much warmth or affection. Her two older sisters, Phyllis and Helen, are very close, but are rarely mentioned in Zami and Lorde spends little time with them. Her parents and other adults, especially her mother, discipline her harshly for insolence. Lorde does not speak until age 4, when she declares that she wants to read, and promptly follows through on this desire. She witnesses racism from a young age. When the family takes a trip to Washington D.
Review of Zami: a New Spelling of My Name
They are rather cold towards her, rarely loving and demonstrative. Audre has two older sisters, who are very close to each other, but with whom she spends precious little time. They do not feature much in the narrative and Audre does not seem to know them well even though they grow up side by side. Possibly because she is paralyzed by fear, Audre does not begin speaking until she is four years old, when she announces that she wants to learn to read.
The story meanders through school, work, love and other eye-opening life experiences. Although the overarching structure of the book lacks definitiveness, Audre Lorde takes care to examine the layers of female connection as she remembers her mother, sisters, friends, co-workers and lovers—women who helped shape her. The question, then, is how accurately she describes events. Her stories of her youth include the beginning of World War II and a fair amount of political awakening. She writes of vivid impressions remembered from childhood, from first-grade teachers to neighborhood characters.
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Summary