One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World'
If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive
A little black girl opens her eyes in 1930s Harlem, weak and half-blind. On she stumbles - through teenage pain and loneliness, but then to happiness in friendship, work and sex, from Washington Heights to Mexico, always changing, always strong. This is Audre Lorde's story. A rapturous, life-affirming autobiographical novel by the 'Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet', it changed the literary landscape.
'Her work shows us new ways to imagine the world ... so many themes of Audre's work have endured' Renni Eddo Lodge, author of Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race
'I came across Audre Lorde's Zami, and I cried to think how lucky I was to have found her. She was an inspiration' Jackie Kay
Rubik's Cubes, Stephen King and Margaret Thatcher – the Eighties have plenty of cultural touchstones. But where to read about them? From Toni Morrison to Tom Wolfe, Alan Hollinghurst to Alice Walker, here are some of the writers who captured the decade best.