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The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  3,249 ratings  ·  318 reviews
From the self-described 'black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet', these soaring, urgent essays on the power of women, poetry and anger are filled with darkness and light.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are
Paperback, Penguin Modern #23, 64 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Penguin Classics
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 ·  3,249 ratings  ·  318 reviews

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Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
You can tell from the title this is going to be a good one. It’s made up of different essays though, so let me talk about them individually.

Poetry is Not A Luxury – I’d read this one before. I would clarify that it isn’t the beginning and end all of all poetry, but it does describe one of the ways in which I perceive poetry. I could totally relate and agree with her! It really moved me to read about why poetry isn’t a luxury for some people, and what it could mean to them.

Use of Erotic – A well
Emma Angeline
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bame
“Revolution is not a one-time event”
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
''Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses...''

It's a short collection of 5 excellent essays.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can’t recommend Audre Lorde strongly enough😌
So glad she has been included in this collection because she should be much more well-known than she is
Matthew Mousseau
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essays-theory
I agreed to take part in a New York University Institute for the Humanities conference a year ago, with the understanding that I would be commenting upon papers dealing with the role of difference within the lives of American women: difference of race, sexuality, class, and age. The absence of these considerations weakens any feminist discussion of the personal and the political.

Read the full text here:
Emma Wallace
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adore Audre Lorde, and this small collection reminds me why. Although this initially took me a little bit longer to get into, since I have not read theory in well over a year, parts of this came back to me; whilst dense at times and loaded with some heavy, theoretical ideas, Lorde's writing drew me in and I found myself nodding along to so much in this. So much of what Lorde writes remains true to this day and her judgement and criticisms are as sharp and insightful now as they were when they ...more
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"If I participate, knowingly or otherwise, in my sister's oppression and she calls me on it, to answer her anger with my own only blankets the substance of our exchange with reaction. It wastes energy."

"What woman here is so enamoured of her own oppression that she cannot see her heel print upon another woman's face?"

I haven't read enough intersectional texts (anyone who wants to recommend any, do comment), and this short series of essays only brought into focus the social media culture of debat
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 starts for writing
5 starts for content
and a freaking billion starts for blowing my mind!!
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Revolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established, outgrown responses; for instance, it is learning to address each other's difference with respect." ...more
Jan 06, 2021 added it
I mean. What is there to say. Should be compulsary reading for everyone. Yeah.

(I will not rate this. Because that feels like a toddler with her first crayons attempting to compliment Van Gogh.)
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was my first time reading Audre Lorde, and this collection of excerpts from different essays is a perfect glimpse to her writing world, with each sentence sharp, insightful and thought provoking. Recommended to those who wants to read about feminism, anti racist politics and intersectionality.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This collection of 'soaring, urgent essays on the power of women, poetry and anger' was my first taste of Audre Lorde's writing. The majority of the essays collected here were first given as conference papers between 1978 and 1982. The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House includes the titular work, as well as 'Poetry is Not a Luxury', 'Uses of the Erotic', 'Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism', and 'Learning From the 1960s'. Throughout, Lorde writes with confidence and in ...more
Naia Pard
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, essay

A couple of essays that are worth while.
They are concentrated on subjects concerning feminism and racism. Perhaps this description of mine niches them too much.

I lack this author`s power at rendering subects that may seem to concern just the minority as a real problem that has to worry the majority, too. She points the cracks in the society not to wedge them into valleys, but to invite the readers into finding a solution that goes to mend them.

Her call to unity is polished by the assurance th
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting short collection of essays that makes a very good introduction to the style and ideas of Lorde. I will be searching more of hers.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some short essays were better than others and interested me more, which explains the 4 stars. There were some very interesting ideas in here, especially on intersectionality. I definitely want to try and read more by Audre Lorde, even though I was already struggling with some of these essays.
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic, poc, ownvoices, 4-star
This is a really nice introduction piece!
Michelle Nimusiima
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate this collection of 5 thought-provoking essays as an introduction into the works of Audre Lorde. Eager to read her other essays.
May Watson
To turn aside from the anger of Black women with excuses or the pretexts of intimidation is to award no one power – it is merely another way of preserving racial blindness, the power of unaddressed privilege, unbreached, intact. Guilt is only another form of objectification. Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity. Black women are expected to use our anger only in the service of other people’s salvation or learning. But ...more
Noemi Kuban
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
five essays on patriarchy, erotics, racism and intersectional feminism by a Black lesbian superwoman. a whole lot of adoration and admiration for her. Read these. especially if you’re a white woman.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm so glad I picked up this book again during these days. Audre's words about the power of uniting in our differences, restorative justice for the disenfranchised, and female community and drive were uplifting, comforting, and really recharged me. ...more
Marie S.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bought-in-2018
Classic case of "It's not you, it's me". I couldn't get into the essays, I felt that there were too many ideas and no clear point so I was lost most of the time. ...more
Callum McLaughlin
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This slim volume brings together five essays by self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet’, Audre Lorde. Originally published between 1977 and 1982, they are all powerfully yet frustratingly relevant today, focussing on issues of Black identity, womanhood, queerness, and the vital roles that art and community must play in overcoming patriarchy.

The arguments presented in each essay compliment the others beautifully, making this a very well curated selection. That said, each still mana
Francisca Martins
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-my-bookshelf
In this small collection of essays published between 1978 and 1982, Audre Lorde—who portrays herself as a 'black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet'—addresses the multiplicity of identities that bring the personal and the political together on both individual and collective dimensions. The power of women, poetry and anger are thus analysed in light of these intersections and its inherent tensions that can spark radical transformation.

In 'The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master' s House'
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
This small collection of five essays forms a brilliant introduction to Audre Lorde beyond her oft-shared quotes. I found myself nodding fiercely to her passionate voice, recoiling at some of her theories, and mostly, wanting to know more.

Written poetically and anecdotally, Lorde’s words ring loud and relevant in 2018, from her bold self-identification as a black, lesbian feminist, to her careful vocabulary, such as her use of “women-identifying” when referring to women. Speaking in 1978, she des
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book of essays is an absolutely essential read. I've fallen in love with Audre Lorde as a feminist, as a writer, as a people's philosopher. If I'd written down every quote that impacted me, I'd have written down the whole damn book.
I will doubtless return to this book many times--it demands to be read over and over, to fully process and internalize Lorde's message.
My favorite essay: The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House (i mean. the title alone.)
Most relevant to the cur
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If I speak to you in anger, at least I have spoken to you: I have not put a gun to your head and shot you down in the street; I have not looked at your bleeding sister’s body and asked, ‘What did she do to deserve it?’
We are women trying to knit a future in a country where an Equal Rights Amendment was defeated as subversive legislation. We are lesbians and gay men who, as the most obvious target of the New Right, are threatened with castration, imprisonment, and death in the streets. And we kn
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing

“For within living structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were expected to kneel to thought as women were expected to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They surface in our dreams, and it is our dreams th
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: society, favorites
These essays are brilliant. I almost highlighted every single passage in every essay because they are just so powerful. Audre Lorde speaks to me through every sentence, her anger, her wisdom, so valuable. I'm so glad I read this. I know there is much work before me, so much more to learn but this is a really good start.
This is 100% a vital read for any person who cares about equality and intersectionality.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a set of essays- the first 2, on poetry and eroticism, are great (and other readers might find more in them than I did), but the three following which deal with racism and intersectional feminism are simply stunning. A wonderful intro to this author, and I'll certainly be reading further. ...more
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Audre Lorde was a revolutionary Black feminist. Lorde's poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes' 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet's ...more

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