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Dorothy Allison


Quotations

  • ''Stupid or smart, there wasn't much choice about what was going to happen to me ... Growing up was like falling into a hole.... I might not quit school, not while Mama had any say in the matter, but what difference would that make? What was I going to do in five years? Work in the textile mill? Join Mama at the diner? It all looked bleak to me. No wonder people got crazy as they grew up.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1953), U.S. novelist and poet. Bastard Out of Carolina, ch. 12 (1992). From the autobiographical novel based on memories of her poverty-stricken youth in South Carolina.
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  • ''Hunger makes you restless. You dream about food—not just any food, but perfect food, the best food, magical meals, famous and awe-inspiring, the one piece of meat, the exact taste of buttery corn, tomatoes so ripe they split and sweeten the air, beans so crisp they snap between the teeth, gravy like mother's milk singing to your bloodstream.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1953), U.S. novelist and poet. Bastard Out of Carolina, ch. 6 (1992). From the autobiographical novel based on memories of her poverty-stricken youth in South Carolina.
  • ''Fiction is a piece of truth that turns lies to meaning.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 18 (1994). Allison—a lesbian feminist essayist, fiction writer, and poet—described her poor, violence-ridden Southern childhood in her well-received autobiographical novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992).
  • ''...I have come to make distinctions between what I call the academy and literature, the moral equivalents of church and God. The academy may lie, but literature tries to tell the truth.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 18 (1994). Allison had grown up in a very poor, dysfunctional South Carolina family and lacked the education and socialization typical of many writers who worked as college or university faculty members.
  • ''... survival is the least of my desires.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 22 (1994). Allison had suffered a poverty-stricken, violence-ridden, Southern childhood.
  • ''Class, race, sexuality, gender—and all other categories by which we categorize and dismiss each other—need to be excavated from the inside.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 2 (1994). Allison had grown up in a very poor and dysfunctional South Carolina family.
  • ''I have wanted everything as a writer and a woman, but most of all a world changed utterly by my revelations.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 18 (1994). Allison—a lesbian feminist essayist, fiction writer, and poet—described her poor, violence-ridden Southern childhood in her well-received autobiographical novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992).
  • ''There is a place where we are always alone with our own mortality, where we must simply have something greater than ourselves to hold onto—God or history or politics or literature or a belief in the healing power of love, or even righteous anger.... A reason to believe, a way to take the world by the throat and insist that there is more to this life than we have ever imagined.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 18 (1994). Allison had suffered a poverty-stricken, violence-ridden, Southern childhood.
  • ''My family's lives were not on television, not in books, not even comic books. There was a myth of the poor in this country, but it did not include us, no matter how hard I tried to squeeze us in. There was an idea of the good poor—hard-working, ragged but clean, and intrinsically honorable. I understood that we were the bad poor ...''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 2 (1994). Allison described her poor, violence-ridden Southern childhood in her well-received autobiographical novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992).
  • ''The horror of class stratification, racism, and prejudice is that some people begin to believe that the security of their families and communities depends on the oppression of others, that for some to have good lives there must be others whose lives are truncated and brutal.''
    Dorothy Allison (b. 1949), U.S. author and lesbian feminist. Skin, ch. 2 (1994). Allison had grown up in a very poor and dysfunctional South Carolina family.

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