Skin: Talking About Sex, Class, and Literature

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Compelling collection of autobiographical narratives, essays, and performance pieces They don't write much better than this.
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Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature

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Compelling collection of autobiographical narratives, essays, and performance pieces They don't write much better than this.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Impassioned, personal and highly intelligent, Allison's ( Bastard Out of Carolina ) collection of published writings and addresses from the past decade examines issues of class and sexuality through the intricate lenses of autobiography and the literary experience. ``I try to live naked in the world,'' says the writer, as she blends a tender reminiscence of her mother's death with an attempt to make sense of her mother's life. ``I refuse the language and categories that would reduce me to less than my whole complicated experience,'' she proclaims, advancing the idea that those born ``poor, queer, and despised'' have an imperative to do more than simply survive. All of these finely wrought essays discuss the author's emotions and politics during years marked by poverty, abuse and the realization that her sexual nature was a threat even to lesbians and feminists. The power of the writing lies in its fluid, almost musical ability to move from one dimension to another, so that politics are laced with accounts of childhood wounds, sexual pleasures and an ongoing look at how the author's work as a writer of fiction meshes with her fervent will to speak only the truth. Strap-on dildos, backyard barbecues, family terrors, bygone lovers and the literary canon all find their way into this exuberant volume by a writer who exposes even the most painful realities with reverence and awe. (July)
School Library Journal
Allison, a self-proclaimed feminist activist, lesbian, writer, and teacher, came from a dirt-poor white family in South Carolina. Her origins inform and permeate these essays (as well as her autobiographical novel, Bastard Out of Carolina, LJ 3/1/92, which reflects much of the subject matter here). Ultimately, though, this collection is really more about the author's intimate feelings regarding the relation of her sexuality to her self-concept and society than about class and literature. In the two dozen essays, Allison addresses topics such as moving into a mixed neighborhood with her lover, discussing her lifestyle with female prisoners or a college class, and lesbian fiction and erotica. Allison is fiercely honest and fearless when describing a sometimes marginalized life among people who reject or patronize her because of her class or sexuality. Some patrons may be uncomfortable with by the explicit sexual descriptions. Recommended for women's and gay studies collections.-Janice Braun, Hoover Institution Lib., Stanford, Cal.
Valarie Sayers
"Skin" is the story of what happened to the girl who grew up from that past, and it draws blood from a lot of questions that typically get pathetic or disingenuous treatment from conservatives and liberals alike. Indeed, the tautness of Ms. Allison's storytelling comes from her ability to describe cruelty and desperate measures with such grace that it leaves a sensual impression unmistakable to the literary touch. -- New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563410444
  • Publisher: Firebrand Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 261
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 0.58 (d)

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    Posted August 12, 2014


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