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Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Crossing Press Feminist Series, Book 1
Written by: Audre Lorde
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in 20th-century literature. In this charged collection of 15 essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.

This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than 20 years after they were first published.

©2007 Audre Lorde (P)2016 Tantor

What the critics say

"Still powerful." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

difficult to follow narrator

At first, the narrator is almost impossible to follow--the cadence is particularly difficult for my brain to process. Doesn't follow typical language patterns at times: pauses btwn...every three words... sounds... staccato :) Makes it tough to know when a sentence ends, BUT it gets better (or maybe I just got used to the narrator as time went on---either way). Lourde is, as always, perfection though. Forever grateful.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Richie X
  • 2017-07-05

Great material, awful performance

The narrator is straight trash. Lorde was such an eloquent and powerful writer that it sucks to have her material being read through this horrible computer sounding voice. Do better

14 people found this helpful

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  • Ingrid
  • 2017-03-23

A must read.

I read this book in college then taught it while in grad school to undergraduates. Listening to it again has been profound in many many ways. The fact that it is still so relevant is both frustrating and powerful. Audrey Lourde should be required reading for everyone not just college educated. She writes in a very accessible manner and her way of explaining things is digestible mentally and even emotionally. This is a book that I have internalized and will always carry with me in my heart and I enjoyed to listening to it. The problem I had was that the narrator to me sounded like a bad version of Siri. Having had the privilege of hearing Audrey Lorde speak many many years ago in Montreal, her voice then was very different and more passionate & had gravitas. The narrator's voice however felt mechanical and dispassionate and her pronunciation Adrianne drove me nuts. But I still had to listen to every word to the end because I love the author so much. Don't miss this.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-01-05

Performance so bad I couldn’t finish

The voice sounded like a robot. It was so monotone and dull I had to stop by chapter 3 unfortunately. I’ll be picking up a hard copy of this book as an alternative but I wasted $ on this version.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. Bliss
  • 2017-07-19

Audre Lord is superb; this narrator is not

Seriously, who picked this bland, robotic narrator for the powerful, inspiring words of Audre Lord??!! I usually try to give voice performers a little leeway because I know how challenging it can be, but this was easily one of the most boring narrations that I have ever heard. Luckily, the content was strong enough to keep me listening, but I was grateful when it was over, as it took energy to stay focused on the words with such a monotonous reading of them. I would recommend you buy the actual book and read it yourself.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-03-08

DO NOT Listen to this Book - Read it.

What did you like best about Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches? What did you like least?

Audre Lorde is an amazing writer and essential voice to feminists, WOC, and the lesbian community. But to get the most out of this book you should pick it up at your favorite used bookstore. The lack of emotion in this performance lower Lorde's powerful words to the level of a barely successful used car salesman giving a high school commencement speech.

What other book might you compare Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches to and why?

Women, Race and Class - Angela Davis.
Ain't I a Woman - Bell Hooks

Mixing well researched, historical facts with personal anecdotes.

What didn’t you like about Robin Eller’s performance?

I wanted to finish this book for my monthly book club & when it was announced I was looking forward to it! I thought essays and speeches would inherently lend themselves to an audiobook seamlessly. I was very wrong.
This performance is embarrassingly awful. There's a severe lack of emotion and emphasis throughout the entire book. You can barely tell when one chapter/essay ends and the other begins.
Many times I played sections back because what was said should've been an extremely powerful moment & I wanted to absorb the impact of Lorde's words, but Eller's performance was so flat it lowers the quality of the message. It's really a tragedy considering the impact this book should be having on listeners.

Was Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches worth the listening time?

No. I eventually sped up the time to get through it faster.

Any additional comments?

Please have someone re-record this.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jayrod
  • 2016-11-16

One of the most important things I have ever listened to.

This audiobook was amazing. Lorde is thoughtful, engaging, and heartbreaking with her words. Robin does a great job keeping her emotions out of it so you can hear the depth of what Lorde is saying rather than her interpretation of what Lorde is saying. This is one of the best books I have ever read or listened to.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Cassia Thompson
  • 2020-06-03

Narration Weak, Just Get a Physical Copt

Audre Lorde was an incredible writer, speaker, and poet. I was horribly disappointed to find that the robotic narration watered down the passion of Lorde’s theory. I would finish chapter after chapter realizing I wasn’t able to engage and had therefore forgotten what was said. It is also ironic a text about Black struggle was read by a person who couldn’t be bothered to learn the proper pronunciation of several African cities, gods, names, and even the name of the author herself. Just get a physical copy. You might absorb more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-11-23

Beautiful writing- dry narration

Audre Lorde’s words are so deep & important, however this narration is very dry & lacks soul.

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  • Lisa Ann Robertson
  • 2019-09-24

Powerful Work, Poor Reader

Audre Lorde's words remain powerful, convicting, inspiring, and prescient. I can't, however, imagine a worse reader. Pauses to turn pages, the occasional unedited stumble, periodically odd pacing, and just not the right narrator for such a radical and moving book.

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  • L.A.
  • 2019-06-15

Powerful book!

Through reading Audre Lorde's book Sister Outsider, I feel I've reached a new level of achievement, of understanding. As a kid, I didn't know anything about her. I've only come to reading her work in the last few years. Learning from her earlier would have made me a stronger woman. Well, I am thankful I have at last found her words. While I didn't like the narration so much (the narrator sounded machine-like which was especially problematic for hearing the words of a poet), I often stopped whatever I was doing and replayed passages so I could reflect longer on the ideas. There were so many moments that demanded multiple hearings - Lorde's recalling how she interpreted information when she was a schoolgirl and her mother's use of language in the interview with Adrienne Rich, disscussion on difference as powerful, divisions between Black women, etc. I will spend years reflecting on and working through experiences with this book.