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Free Essays on River of Names by Dorothy Allison
The Dorothy Allison Papers include drafts and manuscripts of her writings (including Bastard Out of Carolina, Trash, Cavedweller, and other works). All of Allison's unpublished works are RESTRICTED and require permission from the creator prior to use. Personal and professional correspondence, including exchanges with her publishers and other authors, are held in the chronological and work files. The collection also contains Allison's research materials and subject files, covering topics on feminism, lesbianism, sexuality, pornography, writing, and other related files. Allison's journals, dating from 1985 through the 2000s, consist of both handwritten and electronic formats, with all of the electronic journals printed for the archive. All of Allison's journals are RESTRICTED and require permission from the creator prior to use. Also included are materials from her speaking engagements, workshops, and other professional activities. There are a variety of special formats within the collection, including some photographs, electronic files, audio tapes, video cassettes, DVDs, and oversize posters.
Allison: Writing is it's own reward. It's damn hard to make a living. Some of the greatest writers of this generation are out of print and don't make a dime, but are still living in glory on the page. Day by day I know nothing more exciting than writing. Writing is writing. It's not money, it's not books, it's not adulation or awards, and on some level it's not really the reading, it's the writing. And if you're going to do this, you better fall in love with the work.
Dorothy Allison’s Essay on “Place” – Marcie McCauley
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And the South dovetails all that. I love the romance, but I keep a careful, clear-eyed view of it. Keep in mind that my child resulted from collusion between two lesbians, a gay man, and a turkey baster. In most of the South, that means that I am nothing to him in the eyes of the law-so you think I'm going to take him where someone can take him away from me? Ain't happening. So I come in like a stealth writer, show up with my drawl and attitude and absolutely frank, matter-of-fact approach to sexual violence, and then I leave. It's kind of nice; I feel like a night-rider.
Biography of Dorothy Allison (*11 April 1949), US-American writer
Allison: Oh of course, but not as much as you might expect. My family adores me-the ones who were upset were older aunts who had a much more traditional sense of sin. This class stuff is very complicated, because we're a huge, sprawling, redneck, poverty-driven family, and by luck my mother married a middle class man. I had aunts who thought that was her highest achievement. Didn't care he was a batterer or rapist; he was middle class, he had a respectable family, so they sided with him even when the sonofabitch was busted and people went to hospitals-my aunts were like, "Well, you know, those people, they're different." When Bastard was published, I had cousins say, "Thank God somebody finally started talking about this shit," even as my oldest aunt said, "That was a decent man, why'd you write that stuff about him?"
Dorothy E. Allison became a recognized poet and short story writer in the 1980s with her collections The Women Who Hate Me (1983) and Trash (1988). Allison is best known for Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), a novel about a young girl growing up in rural South Carolina during the 1960s. The book has garnered widespread praise for its realism, vivid characterization, and conversational, idiomatic prose. Allison has secured her reputation as a writer who deals frankly and boldly with issues of gender, class, and sexual orientation. In an essay published in the New York Times Book Review, Allison commented on the importance of literature that deals honestly with such themes: ”We are the ones they make fiction of—we gay and disenfranchised and female—and we have the right to demand our full, nasty, complicated lives.”
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Dorothy Allison Essay - UniversalEssays
Allison followed Bastard Out of Carolina with a collection of essays, Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature (1994), and a memoir, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (1995). Reviewers reacted positively to both works, again praising the author’s spare, straightforward writing style and expressing admiration for her hard-won and individual voice. Commenting on Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature in the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Carla Tomaso noted, ”one marvels at the incredible achievement this is for someone born poor and despised in the South.”
Essays and criticism on Dorothy Allison - Further Reading
As both a writer and an activist, Dorothy Allison has made an enormous impact in the reception of women’s fiction. Avoiding the cold intellectualism of postmodern novels, Allison provides her readers with unadorned— and often shocking—graphic details of real-life situations and abuse.
A Question of Class: An essay by Dorothy Allison
Allison was born in 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina, to a poor, unmarried fifteen-year-old girl. When Allison was five, her stepfather—her mother having since married— began sexually abusing her. The abuse lasted for several years before Allison was finally able to tell a relative; the relative informed Allison’s mother, who put a stop to the abuse. Nonetheless, the family stayed together. The conditions of Allison’s upbringing, specifically her experience of poverty, Southern culture, and sexual abuse, would figure largely in the characters and content of her most highly-praised works, Bastard Out of Carolina and Cavedweller (1998).
Dorothy Allison Essays | GradeSaver
Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina is considered an iconic text within the third-wave feminist movement; not only does it provide a personalized and semi-autobiographical story, but it also addresses the issue of forging a female and lesbian identity in a misogynistic, homophobic culture. Bone typifies a third-wave feminist heroine; not only does she face misogyny and violence, which is ignored or hidden by her family and culture, but she must also face the prospect of establishing a new identity as a survivor and lesbian. Allison’s autobiographical descriptions of sexual abuse, as well as her identification as a lesbian and a Southerner, have made her a valuable spokesperson for the movement. Other writers associated with third-wave feminism include Erica Jong, Jeanette Winterson, Toni Morrison, Audre Lord, and Grace Paley.
Black People and Dorothy Allison Essay - 960 Words
Allison: I'm more sympathetic to that than I used to be. I understand the fear. Partly because of what I saw about my own writing in the Jenny Moore workshop, how stunted and doctrinaire it had become working in just the political realm. That can be a real narrow room. The problem is, if you step outside that narrow room, and bring your politics into the larger world, you can do something marvelous, even though the rest of the world sees that room and is afraid. Lots of people are threatened by a feminist political interpretation. They're afraid they're gonna get lectured, be told they're no good.
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