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This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color [Paperback]

Cherrie Moraga , Gloria Anzaldua
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1984 091317503X 978-0913175033 2nd
classic collection of feminist writings

Editorial Reviews


And When You Leave, Take Your Pictures With You by Jo Carillo
Beyond The Cliffs Of Abiquiu by Jo Carillo
Ceremony For Completing A Poetry Reading by Chrystos [pseud.]
Give Me Back by Chrystos [pseud.]
He Saw by Chrystos [pseud.]
I Walk In The History Of My People by Chrystos [pseud.]
No Rock Scorns Me As Whore by Chrystos [pseud.]
Millicent Fredericks by Gabrielle Daniels
On Not Bein by Mary Hope Whitehead Lee
Wonder Woman by Genny Lim
For The Color Of My Mother by Cherrie Moraga
The Welder by Cherrie Moraga
I Am What I Am by Rosario Morales
The Bridge Poem by Kate Rushin
When I Was Growing Up by Nellie Wong
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

From the forewords by Cherrie Moraga, Gloria Anzaldua through the poems, essays, and pieces Toni Cade Bambara calls "cables, esoesses, conjurations and fusile missles, this is a work of bringing-togetherness that gives the reader a clear-eyed view of life in the United States. From "I Paid Very Hard for My Immigrant Ignorance" by Mirtha Quintanales to "who told you anybody wants to hear from you? you ain't nothing but a black woman!" by hattie gossett to "I Don't Understand Those Who Have Turned Away From Me" by Chrystos, This Bridge Called My Back is a showing-and-telling, a volume of reflections of stunning color: raging, gentle, powerful. First published in 1983 and winner of the 1986 Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, this collection was an important addition to the steadily growing voice of the world's silenced people, especially women of color. This Bridge Called My Back is a gift of wisdom, of strength, of womanhood. As Gloria Anzaldua puts it in her foreword: "Haven't we always borne jugs of water, children, poverty? Why not learn to bear baskets of hope, love, self-nourishment and to step lightly?" -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen

Product Details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press; 2nd edition (February 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 091317503X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913175033
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands/La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be On Every Feminist Bookshelf, in Every Library. November 22, 2005
Count yourself lucky if you are able to find a copy of the 3rd Edition. It is extremely rare and very hard to find. If you can't find it though, buy the 1st or 2nd Editions.

This is undoubtedly one of the most influential, groundbreaking, and important books ever to come from "Second Wave" feminist thought. Although it has been over 20 years since it was originally published, it still retains its edginess and thought-provoking qualities.

The book, which features the writings of Asian, Latin, African, and Native American women was also groundbreaking in that many of the women are lesbians and/or from working class backgrounds. (Although lesbian and/or working class anthologies are unsual now, it was significant back in 1981.)

Writers include Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, Barbara Smith, Anzaldua, Moraga, Barbara Cameron, and Aurora Levins Morales.

Essays, poems, short stories, creative and autobiographical pieces are the basis for this book. Although it is best known for confronting racism within and outside of the Women's Movement, the book also examines:

* the roots of the authors' radical politics

* theory vs. real life

* culture, class, and homophobia

* on being an ethic writer/artist

* visions for a better future

The 3rd Edition also contains pictures of art and sculpture by radical women of color artists circa late 1970s-early 1980s. These add more layers and depth to the book as the artists' works were chosen to compliment the writings. All 3 Editions (but especially the 3rd) contain an excellent bibliography for the reader who is further interested in reading more about women of color feminism.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is such an important anthology of writings by radical women of color on the politics of race, gender, class and sexual orientation. Though it is more than two decades old, the essays and poetry are still ispirational and relevant. Indeed, I strongly feel that this is a book that every feminist should read. That said, I am utterly baffled by how difficult it is to obtain. Could it really be out of print? If so, I hope (hint, hint) that some progressive publishing company like AK Press, South End Press, or Seal re-prints it. I would hate to think of it disappearing into the dustbin of history.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very important collection April 25, 2001
Oh my goodness!! This is an incredible ground-breaking book of awareness and consciousness. It was a must-read for anyone coming of age in the 1980's and it is still relevant today. I came on line to purchase it for a friend who had never seen it, and I am in shock that it is out of print, or even just out of stock (it's unclear which). The paperback is selling on ZBooks for $45. I'm confounded.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! November 24, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a precious gem. I haven't finished it yet but I'm already under its spell. The writings are unique, and you feel like an old friend is revealing herself to you, in all her aspects. You feel like if someone you don't know is talking about something you know really really well. It's deeply enlightening. This book is political and personal, it's particular and universal. Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrie Moraga did a great effort to put this up; this book will be forever a reference, no matter it was published a long time ago. I cannot but recommend this to everyone, all women should read this and let this book change your mind and maybe your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and inspiring February 18, 2014
By Kim
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This collection is so brilliant and eye-opening. It provides insight into the individual lives of women under the demographics of sexual and racial minority. As a white, lower-middle-class woman, I haven't experienced the complex webs woven by the intersectionalities of oppression these writers face. By no means can these select women speak for all members of their ethnic/sexual/gender/etc. minorities, but this is an excellent piece of introduction to radical writing. On one last note, I'd like to stress that the reader consider the historic context these women were writing in. It is important to understand that in the 70's and 80's, women of various minorities were not given a share of the Second-Wave stage in the feminist and women's movements. (I would argue that we still shortchange these women even today.) Their words may come off as irrationally angry, blaming, or even hyperbolic; but if you imagine the silence these intelligent, artistic women had to endure for most of their lives, you can certainly sympathize with their heightened emotions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Important work December 30, 2010
One of the best books I'v ever read. Changed the course of my intellectual life. The the writings, thoughts and insights shared set the framework for all of my subsequent approaches/readings of progressive thought.
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