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Conversations with Dorothy Allison
     

Conversations with Dorothy Allison

by Mae Miller Claxton (Editor)
 

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Since the publication of her groundbreaking novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), Dorothy Allison (b. 1949) has been known—as with Larry Brown and Lee Smith—as a purveyor of the “gritty” contemporary South that, in many ways, is worlds away from prevailing “Southern Gothic” representations of the region. Allison has frequently

Overview

Since the publication of her groundbreaking novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), Dorothy Allison (b. 1949) has been known—as with Larry Brown and Lee Smith—as a purveyor of the “gritty” contemporary South that, in many ways, is worlds away from prevailing “Southern Gothic” representations of the region. Allison has frequently used her position, through passionate lectures and enthusiastic interviews, to give voice to issues dear to her: poverty, working-class life, domestic violence, feminism and women’s relationships, the contemporary South, and gay/lesbian life. Often called a “writer-rock star” and a “cult icon,” Allison is a true performer of the written word.

At the same time, Allison also takes the craft of writing very seriously. In this collection, spanning almost two decades, Allison the performer and Allison the careful craftsperson both emerge, creating a portrait of a complex woman. The interviews detail Allison’s working-class background in Greenville, South Carolina, as the daughter of a waitress. Allison discusses—with candor and quick wit—her upbringing, her work in a variety of modes (novels, short stories, essays, poetry), and her active participation in the women’s movement of the 1970s.

In the absence of a biography of Allison’s life, Conversations with Dorothy Allison presents Allison’s perspectives on her life, literature, and her conflictions over her role as a public figure. Linking her work with African American writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, Allison pioneered the genre of working-class literature, writing a world that is often overlooked and under-studied.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617032868
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Series:
Literary Conversations Series
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Mae Miller Claxton is a professor of English at Western Carolina University. She is the co-editor of Anthology of American Literature, eighth edition, volumes I and II and a contributing editor for The Heath Anthology of American Literature, sixth edition, volumes A—E. She has published articles in Mississippi Quarterly, Southern Quarterly, South Atlantic Review, and English Journal.

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