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Autobiography Colonialism Women of Colour

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

Zami: A New Spelling of My NameAudre LordePersephone Press1982

From Wikipedia: Zami: A New Spelling of My Name is a 1982 autobiography by American poet Audre Lorde. It started a new genre that the author calls biomythography, which combines history, biography, and myth.

In the text, Lorde writes that “Zami” is “a Carriacou name for women who work together as friends and lovers”, noting that Carriacou is the Caribbean island from which her mother immigrated. The name proves fitting: Lorde begins Zami writing that she owes her power and strength to the women in her life, and much of the book is devoted to detailed portraits of other women.

Zami is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author’s vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde’s work is cyclical. It especially relates the linkage of women who have shaped her… Lorde brings into play her craft of lush description and characterization. It keeps unfolding page after page.

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