Medicine Stories

Essays for Radicals

Book Pages: 248 Illustrations: Published: April 2019

Activism, Disability Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies

In this revised and expanded edition of Medicine Stories, Aurora Levins Morales weaves together insights and lessons learned over a lifetime of activism to offer a new theory of social justice. Calling for a politics of integrity that recognizes the complicated wholeness of individual and collective lives, Levins Morales delves among the interwoven roots of multiple oppressions, exposing connections, crafting strategies, and uncovering the wellsprings of resilience and joy. Throughout these twenty-eight essays—twenty-one of which are new or extensively revised—she exposes the structures and mechanisms that silence voices and divide movements. The result is a medicine bag full of techniques and perspectives to build a universal solidarity that is flexible, nuanced, and strong enough to fundamentally shift our world toward justice. Intimately personal and globally relevant, Medicine Stories brings clarity and hope to tangled, emotionally charged social issues in beautiful and accessible language.


"Morales’s book is an excellent tool for understanding some of the dynamics of social justice movements and should be part of activists’ survival kits against despair." — Nylca J. Muñoz Sosa, Monthly Review

“A poetic, deeply personal memoir of the intellect and the soul. Aurora Levins Morales embraces genres, political movements, and spiritual awakenings to tell one multifaceted story of a life searching for justice and serenity, in community, in society, and with one's own body.” — Sarah Schulman

“Twenty years ago I first read Medicine Stories and had my mind blown by the elegant, virtuosic way Aurora Levins Morales imagined a theory interweaving childhood sexual abuse survival, Indigenous sovereignty, anticlassism, and deep Latinx queer anticolonial ecological justice. Twenty years later, her analysis is even more rich and full of fruit, revising and expanding her work to encompass Standing Rock and the global fight for water and land liberation, survivorhood, and disability justice. Aurora demands the impossible and the only thing that is possible: everything.” — Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, author of Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice

"Aurora Levins Morales's work should absolutely be supported. She has an impeccable progressive and visionary politic. Her prose has the literary eloquence of a pure poetry. A necessary and timely read." — Cherríe Moraga, author of Native Country of the Heart


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Price: $23.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Aurora Levins Morales is a Puerto Rican Ashkenazi writer, activist, poet, and visual artist. She is the author of several books, including Kindling: Writings on the Body and Remedios: Stories of Earth and Iron from the History of Puertorriqueñas.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Libation  v
The Ground on Which I Stand
Ecology Is Everything  3
Bigger Is Better  10
My Feminism  18
Identity and Solidarity  34
The Power of Story  42
The Truths Our Bodies Tell  47
The Historian as Curandera
False Memories: Trauma and Liberation  55
The Historian as Curandera  69
Night Flying: Power, Memory, and Magic  89
What Race Isn't: Teaching about Racism  95
Raícism: Rootedness as Spiritual and Political Practice  99
The Politics of Childhood  104
Speaking in Tongues
On Not Writing English  111
Forked Tongues: On Not Speaking Spanish  115
Certified Organic Intellectual  121
Ban Me!  127
The Tribe of Guarayamín  133
Taíno Citizenship  140
Speaking of Antisemitism  145
BDS and Me  154
Puerto Ricans and Jews  157
Privilege and Loss
Class, Privilege, and Loss  175
Nadie la Tiene: Land, Ecology, and Nationalism  179
Torturers  192
Histerimonia: Declarations of a Trafficked Girl, or Why I Couldn't Write This Essay  197
The Long Haul
Building Radical Soil  207
Circle Unbroken: The Politics of Inclusion  211
Tai: A Yom Kippur Sermon, 5778/2017  217
A Note From the Author  223
Index  225
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0309-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0190-4
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