Last Updated on December 15, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 443
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde is an autobiography that follows Lorde's life from childhood to adulthood as she navigates life as a Black lesbian in New York City and Mexico.
Lorde writes that "every woman I have ever loved has left her print upon me." The book focuses on her growth as a person but also her relationships with women. In the end, she defines the word "Zami" as "a Carriacou name for women who work together as friends and lovers." It is representative of the themes of the book in many ways.
When Zami's relationship with a woman named Bea sours, she ends things. Bea doesn't take it well, however, and continues to try to see Lorde. This is one of the things that sends Lorde to Mexico instead of continuing to live in New York. Lorde writes,
I was hiding out at Jean and Alf's place, having been warned by an incredulous Rhea that a weeping girl was trying to find me. Rhea ran interference, making excuses to Bea as she went in and out of the apartment to work. Luckily, I had already quit my job at the Health Center, for Bea had gone there first.
Lorde leaves New York with stress and anger on her heels, but that feeling starts to go away by the time she arrives in Mexico and starts to integrate with the community there. She also is able to see the negative aspects of her relationship with Bea when she enters into a relationship with Eudora in Mexico.
Though Eudora eventually disappears, she leaves an imprint on Lorde. The relationship they had makes Lorde more aware of what relationships should be. Once she returns to New York, she...
(The entire section contains 443 words.)
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this Zami: A New Spelling of My Name study guide. You'll get access to all of the Zami: A New Spelling of My Name content, as well as access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.
- Chapter Summaries
- Critical Essays