Dorothy Allison

Dorothy Allison2020 Appalachian Heritage Writer in Residence

Works by Dorothy Allison

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The Women Who Hate Me, Poetry 1980-1990 book cover 1991

The Women Who Hate Me, Poetry 1980-1990

Written in a rage after being ostracized by feminists at the 1992 Barnard College Feminist Symposium, The Women Who Hate Me is a collection of poetry that relentlessly tells it like it is, as Allison flays her enemies and amazes her readers. Allison is intrepid as as a storyteller and fearless as a poet.

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Bastard Out of Carolina book cover 1992

Bastard Out of Carolina

A powerful story of betrayal and survival, of Southern family and the poor, of the rural working class trying to survive against all odds, Bastard Out of Carolina is told in the living language of those who transcend its pages to walk beyond the written word to live in our imagination and memory. Told from the point of view of Ruth Anne Boatwright (Bone), a 13-year old child labeled "bastard" by a callous and uncaring community that refuses to recognize her story or the depth and significance of her being. Ultimately, Bone will prevail despite all.

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Skin, Talking about Sex, Class & Literature book cover 1994

Skin, Talking about Sex, Class & Literature

Skin is a hard-talking, poignant and blunt collection of essays about what it means to be lesbian in the complex world today and what it means to be poor and working class at a time when privilege and money run the show for everyone. Skin is irreverent, sassy, funny, and pointed in its opinions; and Allison spares none as she critiques the society we live in. She talks about being a feminist, a lesbian, a controversial radical and southern expatriate with attitude.

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Two or Three Things I Know for Sure book cover 1995

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

A lyrical book about betrayal, understanding, and learning compassion, Two or Three Things is an exquisite coming to terms with one's identity, family and the events that shape the human spirit. Written in a lyrical style that portends forgiveness, this slender volume helps us understand both the author and ourselves.

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Cavedweller book cover 1999


In many ways a companion to Bastard Out of Carolina, Cavedweller is a story of reconciliation and coming home, a story of compassion and necessity, and above all a testament to youth and the human spirit. Her Datsun stuffed with all she owns and her daughter Cissy, Delia Byrd has had enough. She leaves the glitz and empty glamour of the world of rock and roll and moves back to Cayro, Georgia, to reclaim her home and the daughters she left behind and to redeem herself and a life long buried but not forgotten.

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Trash, Stories by Dorothy Allison book cover 2002

Trash, Stories by Dorothy Allison

Trash is a brilliant collection of stories presenting themes in Allison's work that have established her as a premier American writer. Stories about poverty in the Appalachian South, about the working poor, about coming to terms with one's sexuality in a world that is far from supportive, this collection will tear at your heart and make you think. Above all, these are stories about the power of storytelling, not just to entertain but to save our very souls. The volume contains "Compassion," anthologized as 2003 Best Short Story.

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Conversations with Dorothy Allison book cover 2012

Conversations with Dorothy Allison

Mae Miller Claxton has put together an inspiring collection of interviews in Conversations, that give us the many faces of Dorothy Allison--Allison at her best, always candid, always truthful, and a master of storytelling.

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