Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was the author of The Cancer Journals, and an icon of American womanhood, poetry, African American arts and survival. She created a mythic identity for herself that retains its vitality to this day. Alexis De Veaux demystifies Lorde's iconic status, charting her childhood; her marriage to a white, gay man with whom she had two children; her emergence as an outspoken black feminist lesbian poet; and her canonisation as a seminal poet of American literature. Lorde's restless search for a spiritual home finally brought her to the island of St Croix in 1986. estate, personal journals, and interviews with members of Lorde's family, friends and lovers. Assessing the cultural legacy of a woman who personified the civil rights struggles of the twentieth century, De Veaux pays homage to one of the most courageous, singular voices of American letters.