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Dorothy Allison

  Dorothy Allison gained prominence and acclaim outside the Lesbian and Gay community for her National Book Award Finalist novel Bastard out of Carolina. Within the community she had already attracted a devoted following with the publication of her poetry in The Women Who Hate Me (1983) and with her first collection of short stories, Trash (1988), the basis for the later novel. That collection was awarded two Lambda Literary Awards, for Best Small Press and Best Lesbian Book. Following Bastard out of Carolina, Allison published a collection of essays, Skin, and most recently, Two or Three Things I Know For Sure.


  Bastard Out of Carolina Bone is the nickname of a sensitive young girl in rural South Carolina who lives with her mother, stepfather, sister, scores of kin and many other rich characters. Author/reader Dorothy Allison's soft Carolina dialect may be a bit refined for her story. The abridgment has two problems. The reading... Read more

  Cavedweller "Death changes everything." So begins Dorothy Allison's sprawling, ambitious, and deeply satisfying second novel, Cavedweller. For Delia Byrd, Randall Pritchard's death in a motorcycle accident launches a journey of several thousand miles and almost two decades, a rebirth of sorts that's... Read more

  Two or Three Things I Know for Sure Adapted from a performance piece, Allison's little memoir sifts through old family photos that capture a childhood filled with a "white trash" girl's recollections of love, hate, revenge, rural Southern poverty, beatings, incest, and women whose hard eyes betrayed their broken dreams and lives. It... Read more

  Skin : Talking About Sex, Class & Literature Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina, 1992, etc.) has assembled a nourishing compilation of articles and essays about being ``queer in a world that hates queers...poor [in] a world that despises the poor'' and a passionate writer and lover of literature. Written during the past 11 years, the two dozen... Read more

articles and reviews
[ T H E _S A L O N_ I N T E R V I E W ]
_____Dorothy Allison



_____- - - - - - - - - - - -

BY LAURA MILLER | It's a toss-up which quality Dorothy Allison has in greater measure -- strength or charm. She's needed plenty of both to fight her way out of the desperate circumstances into which she was born. Her riveting, semi-autobiographical first novel, "Bastard Out of Carolina," portrays a dirt-poor Southern childhood in a family notorious for its violent, hard-drinking men and trouble-prone women. For Allison, these crushing circumstances were intensified by a physically and sexually abusive stepfather and, eventually, the discovery that she was a lesbian. She left home and devoted years of her life to feminist activism and collectives, although her refusal to toe the line sexually (or to keep quiet about her penchant for what she calls "rough trade") often made her an outcast there as well. She also began to write stories and essays whose fierce eloquence instantly gripped anyone lucky enough to discover them in alternative newspapers and books ....[more]

from THE NEW YORK TIMES - July 5, 1992

'No Wonder People Got Crazy as They Grew Up'

By George Garrett;


"ALL the Boatwrights told stories, it was one of the things we were known for, and what one cousin swore was gospel, another swore was an unqualified lie," says Ruth Anne Boat wright, more often called Bone by her kinfolk and a few close friends. Bone is the narrator of the larger story of "Bastard Out of Carolina," itself as richly various, with its stories and memories and dreams, as a well-made quilt. It is not surprising that this first novel is so abundantly anecdotal; Dorothy Allison has published stories in magazines and anthologies for some time, and her first book, "Trash," was a critically praised collection of stories... [more]



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