Hey everyone, Mia’s got something to say!
As you may have noticed, the Canonball book club has been a bit of a one-way street. That is to say, Lindsay and I would read a book and write about it, without asking for the participation of our dear readers. The reasons for this were mostly logistical: our contributors live all around the world, and it would be impossible to find a time that everyone could speak. (And how? I have fantasies of Feminist Conference Calls, but alas! Fantasies they are!)
But, as our audience has grown, and as we’ve witnessed our readers’ enthusiasm, we’ve realized that the more people we can get reading with us, the better and more fruitful our conversations about feminism will be.
So I’m excited to announce – for the first time, in advance – our next book club selection. Sister Outsider is a collection of essays and speeches by the late poet and feminist Audre Lorde. And I’ll be frank: I’m not too familiar with Lorde’s works. Which brings us to reason number one why we chose this text: Better Know A Feminist Foremother. With the exception of A Room of One’s Own, all of our past book club choices have been written by contemporary authors. It’s time for us, as a blog, to dig back further. And it’s time for us to start featuring more works by women of color. We’ve criticized the literary canon for being exclusionary, and now we’ve got to practice what we preach.
Reason number two? Well, again, it’s logistical. (Seriously, guys, I’m really good at planning.) Because Sister Outsider was first published in 1984, inexpensive copies abound. I got mine online for $12, but I’ve seen editions online as cheap at $5. (You may even be able to buy it in stores! Though you’d be surprised which books you can’t find in stores, even when you live in a big city. Remind me to tell you about the time I alarmed every employee in the Dupont Circle Books-A-Million when I asked if they had Delusions of Gender.) Additionally, most of these essays and speeches are only a handful of pages long. So you can read as much or as little of the book as you please, and you can still partake in our discussion.
Our discussion, by the way, will take place the week of April 18. That gives you, dear reader, five entire weeks to read and – hopefully! – write something for us. We ask that you send your contributions to email@example.com no later than Monday, April 11.
And what kind of contributions are we looking for? Well, like I said, you can write about as much or as little of the book as you like. You can write strictly about what Lorde’s essays, or you can use one of her essays as a jumping-off point to talk about pop culture, politics, your own experiences, whatever. If you’d like to have your own mini-Canonball book club meeting (oh god, dare to dream!), do! Or write your post with a friend. Contributions should be between 700 and 1,500 words. And if you have questions or would like feedback on an idea or draft, don’t hesitate to e-mail us.
So, happy reading, Canoneers! I’ll close with a poem by Lorde: “Who Said It Was Simple.”
There are so many roots to the tree of anger
that sometimes the branches shatter
before they bear.
Sitting in Nedicks
the women rally before they march
discussing the problematic girls
they hire to make them free.
An almost white counterman passes
a waiting brother to serve them first
and the ladies neither notice nor reject
the slighter pleasures of their slavery.
But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed
see causes in colour
as well as sex
and sit here wondering
which me will survive
all these liberations.