Try an audiobook on us

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Crossing Press Feminist Series, Book 1
Narrated by: Robin Eller
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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

Critic reviews

"Still powerful." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An incredible book, badly produced and performed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Audre Lorde was an incredible writer and speaker, and the content of this book is deeply profound and, in and of itself, well worth listening to. However, two major issues with the audio book make it difficult to enjoy. First of all, the narrator is dull, passionless and frankly sounds like she's reading out the FTSE index. She's a terrible choice for the work given that Lorde's rhetoric is so full of passion and urgency. Secondly, whoever edited/mastered the recording has gone overboard with whatever plugin it is that removes the breaths from a voice artist, to the extent where the beginning of each sentence is clipped - the first letter or syllable is regularly missing because the editors have cut out each and every breath in the recording. I found this highly distracting and irritating. I understand that heavy breaths and background clicks etc need to be edited out but this recording goes to far. It adds an even more artificial, lifeless quality to the narrator's already flat, bored, expressionless reading. "Sister Outsider" is a remarkable work that deserves more thought and care in its delivery and presentation as an audio book. Very disappointing.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good book but read robotically

It’s a shame that the publishers couldn’t choose someone else to read the book,
Because that is the only thing that destoyed my experience. The message is good as André lorde is obviously a genius, but it’s painful to sit through hours of a monotone , robotic sounding voice (audible, was it actually read by a robot??). Sounds like Siri reading the book literally. Please buy a paper or ebook version of the book instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

narrator very annoying

This is an amazing book, but the narrator is shrill, has trouble pronouncing some words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Content is excellent, but narration doesn't engage

This is one of the most important works of its kind and of interest to feminists and womanist of all persuasion. However the narrator does not do it justice and sounds like she's reading someone else's notes. The editor needed to ensure the reader was given the opportunity for a more polished performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Important and insightful.

A wonderful and integral collection of essays and speeches from Audre Lorde. Essential listening. The only improvement would be the delivery - very robotic and takes time to get used to - slightly detracts from the overall experience which is unfortunate.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Would not play at all!

Downloaded the book but very disappointed not to be able to listen to it at all.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ingrid
  • 23-03-17

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richie East
  • 05-07-17

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jayrod
  • 16-11-16

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 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. Bliss
  • 19-07-17

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hanna
  • 20-10-18

So good!

Audre Lorde should be required reading-she was an incredible writer and her words are as useful and prescient now as when they were first written.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 08-07-18

This woman devoured the very hate she hopes to end

Lorde's text serves as a legitimate starting point for anyone without a background in African American studies or womens' studies. Get depiction of the life of a black lesbian woman in the mid-20th century is stark and powerful. Unfortunately, there is very little depiction of what Lorde wants to see here. The book reads like a tirade of an indignant adult furious with the world she sees, but with no direction for that fury to be directed.

Without the crucial solidification of the sum of her argument, I left with an impression of an irrate geriatric individual shaking their first at the wind.

I do not wish to belittle her struggle or that of others feeling the same pain, but it's difficult to empathize with someone like Lorde who always stands firm in her unbridled assault on what she sees as unjust when there is such a small portion of the text devoted to what progress looks like.

I left this book with the feeling that Lorde had obsorbed and assimilated the hatred that she rails against.

I would suggest this to shake someone up if they were already familiar with and sympathetic to the notion of black liberation, but never beyond that.

Last point, the narrator was the worst I've ever heard. I may be mistaken, but there is a grave injustice having an extremely white sounding lady read this book, what a poor decision.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K. James
  • 06-06-18

Radical honesty about, race, class, gender, and sexuality!

I’ll be reading this work again, very soon. Audre Lorde leads by example, she demonstrates what it means to learn and apply lessons from her own experiences of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and colorism outside the black community and within it. This is not an exercise in navel gazing, nor is it for the faint of heart. Few but the most marginalized can speak to the contradictions of mainstream white society, the failings of mainstream/white feminism, and the divisions within the movement for black liberation. Audre Lorde exposes, examines, and articulates a way through obstacles as opposed to going around them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J. Polkowske
  • 12-03-18

great essays

A lot of insightful thoughts from a black lesbian female perspective from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, which I hadn't had a lot of (much of any, really) exposure to before, and it is worth hearing to gain more understanding of a life I don't lead.

The performer is fluid and servicable for the most part, but you can hear the sections where they get tired, and you can likewise notice the sections where they have a personal and vested excitemenylt for the text, as they impart significantly higher energies into the delivery than elsewise.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-03-18

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.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-18

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.