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Trash: Stories and Poems [Paperback]

Dorothy Allison


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Book Description

11 Sep 1995
This collection contains 15 stories about tough women weathered by hard times and the business of survival. Sex, food, health, love and loyalty are all explored. The stories are accompanied by angry and pssionate poems. By the author of "Bastard out of Carolina".


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From the Back Cover

“I’ve these pictures my mama gave me – stained sepia prints of bare dirt yards, plank porches, and step after step of children – cousins, uncles, aunts; mysteries. I come of an enormous family and I cannot tell half their stories.”

From the tale of Shannon Pearl, the crazy, brooding albino child who, ‘had she been stronger or smarter would have been dangerous’ to the tragedy of Aunt Cora, who ‘packed up biscuits, cold chicken and Coca-Cola’ and left home with her four girls, Dorothy Allison casts an unblinking eye over the poor ‘white trash’ people of the American South. Drawing on her own background, the stories and poems in 'Trash' also form a remarkable confessional portrait of Allison herself, a lesbian, whose flight from her own violent, abusive family upbringing brought a hard won but exhilarating emotional and sexual freedom. Raw, chillingly honest and inspiring, she writes with unforgettable force and vision.

“Allison illuminates aspects of a class that has been neglected and misunderstood. Haunting work … a raw power”
NEW STATESMAN

“Allison’s work has all the hard won honesty of Carver’s best writing”
INDEPENDENT

“The literary territory that Allison has set out to explore is dangerous turf. It is a great pleasure to see her succeed, blithe and graceful as Baryshnikov in performance. A major talent … please reserve a seat of honour at the high table of the art of fiction for Dorothy Allison.”
NEW YORK TIMES

About the Author

Dorothy Allison is the author of ‘Trash’, a collection of short stories that won two Lambda Literary Awards in 1989, and the autobiographical ‘Two or Three Things I Know for Sure’, both of which are available in Flamingo.

‘Bastard Out of Carolina’, her first novel, was shortlisted for the American National Book Award. She lives in San Francisco.


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First Sentence
At a picnic at my aunt's farm, the only time the whole family ever gathered, my sister Billie and I chased chickens into the barn. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just lesbian fiction 9 Jan 2001
By Melissa L. Hutchins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Trash is a great book of short stories written by Dorothy Allison. Although she the winner of book awards for lesbian fiction, her stories also tell of a tragic childhood, growing up as white trash, and of a family life involving alcholism, abuse and tragedy. The stories are difficult to read at times, due to the agonizing adversity the she has faced, but it is peppered with comic relief, sarcasm and wit.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A series of insightful autobiographical sketches 9 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Trash, billed as a book of short stories, was more like a book of essays - anticdotal, reflective, sometimes funny, often tragic - which give the reader a sense of sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and an old friend named Dorothy Allison. I loved Trash because I felt closer to Allison after reading it - she is one of my favorite authors, and this book brought me to a better understanding of her both as a person and as a writer.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing and emotionally exhausting to read 24 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Dorothy Allision's "Trash' is a collection of essays and loosely connected anecdotes about being born into, growing up in, and surviving a horrific childhood in a white trash community in America. The stories recall nightmares you wouldn't wish on your enemies. Allison writes with such bitterness, anger and ferocity it's frightening. I found it a tough read and had to tackle it a bit at a time. The essays/stories are not all compelling. Some I found esoteric and skipped. The earlier ones like "River of Names" were mostly excellent. The later ones which tell of Allison's voyage of sexual self discovery were harder to get through. It's not the graphic sex that's hard to handle but the emotional landscape that's alien to those outside the community she writes of. Personally, I found "Trash" an unpleasant read and while I respect Allsion's integrity, she's obviously not going to be everybody's cup of tea.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unstoppable 14 Sep 2007
By 3timesMom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In the shadows of society lie the ugly truth of what many must overcome just to survive. Set in, then rural South, this book moves you through the landscape of poverty, sadness, and grave dysfunction. When education is absent and substance abuse prevalent, unthinkable tragedy can occur. But the will of a girl to survive in spite of her lack of resources is heartbreaking, but the encouragement of at least one person in her life helps her overcome adversity. Written with detail to the usually inviisible details of life, Trash draws you in & holds you until the end. Even then the book haunted me with sadness for what some children have faced. While it is a novel, it closely aligns with real life events.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pour the southern comfort & get to reading 5 Mar 2001
By "e-dahlia" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What an amazing book. Ms. Allison illustrates vivdly the many componets that go into making each of us who we are. This is not a book of stories to be quickly read through-- each one resonates intensly,like an unforgetable piece of music on a long drive.
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