It is not surprising that most of the female writers we have enjoyed this year have written largely about gender issues, particularly (and obviously) women's rights to equal opportunity and equal treatment.
However, almost every writer that we've read that dealt with such issues also had other issues that of which they wanted to make us (the readers) aware.Gender oppression is not the only kind of oppression, as we all know.I have tried to choose a wide variety of women writers in order to explore more than just gender issues (but still including gender issues), things such as race, heritage, culture, and individuality.Many writers can deal with multiple issues at once, but the mark of a great writer is if she can do so effectively, with regards to each issue. Audre Lorde once referred to herself as a "black feminine lesbian warrior poet."(It is therefore befitting that Lorde writes about, among other things, race issues, gender issues, lesbian issues, and identity issues.
)Along with this self-prescribed stance taken by Lorde came an intense desire on the part of the writer to learn more about the ancient matriarchal myths of Africa; in doing so, Lorde wanted to learn more about her own heritage, to search for her own identity.Her poem "From the House of Yemanja" (2130-2131) deals specifically with the Yoruban culture of Western Nigeria, as evidenced by the title (Yemanja is the mother of all other gods and goddesses in the Yoruban belief system).Such a culture would be very appealing to Lorde, who most likely experienced many of the remnants of a once absolutely male-dominant society, some of which still remain even to this day. In "From the House of Yemanja," Lorde conjures the Jungian images of two mothers, one kind and nurturing, the other existing solely for the purpose of denial.
These two mothers are perhaps the "two faces…