This is a collection of essays examining the works of Dorothy Allison (1950-), one of the most original and influential contemporary American women writers working today. Allison is perhaps best-known as author of the acclaimed best- selling novels Bastard Out of Carolina, a National Book Award Finalist in 1992, and Caved weller (1998). Her numerous other works have included short story and essay collections, poetry, and an autobiography. The critical essays in this collection consider Allison's short stories and essays, as well as her novels, discussing themes such as trauma and violence, the body, literary and critical connections, and class, among others. As the first major collection of essays to focus solely on Allison's works, this study provides ground-breaking work on an important and interesting contemporary writer. Allison's works attract readers from a range of academic disciplines, and they have found a broad national public readership as well.
Thus the audience for this work, like Allison's audience, is unusually diverse, comprising readers interested in a range of gender issues, autobiographical writing, trauma narratives, Southern writing, and lesbian and gay writing and issues.