Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
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Bastard Out of Carolina, nominated for the 1992 National Book Award for fiction, introduced Dorothy Allison as one of the most passionate and gifted writers of her generation. Now, in Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, she takes a probing look at her family's history to give us a lyrical, complex memoir that explores how the gossip of one generation can become legends for the next. Illustrated with photographs from the author's personal collection, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure tells the story of the Gibson women -- sisters, cousins, daughters, and aunts -- and the men who loved them, often abused them, and, nonetheless, shared their destinies. With luminous clarity, Allison explores how desire surprises and what power feels like to a young girl as she confronts abuse. As always, Dorothy Allison is provocative, confrontational, and brutally honest. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, steeped in the hard-won wisdom of experience, expresses the strength of her unique vision with beauty and eloquence.
An autobiographical work written for the stage explores such topics as love and loss, beauty and terror, and the intricacies of family love and hatred, while illuminating the rural poverty of the South
The Classic work of fiction that dramatically illuminates the lives described in current nonfiction bestsellers like J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy and Nancy Isenberg's White Trash The modern literary classic that has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye "As close to flawless as any reader could ask for." —The New York Times Book Review The publication of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina was a landmark event. The novel's profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural South won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. Critics have likened Allison to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee, naming her the first writer of her generation to dramatize the lives and language of poor whites in the South. Since its appearance, the novel has inspired an award-winning film and has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics. Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family-a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. When her stepfather Daddy Glen, "cold as death, mean as a snake," becomes increasingly more vicious toward her, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back. Now available in a twentieth anniversary keepsake edition with a new afterword by the author.
From the author of the "flawless" (The New York Times Book Review) classic Bastard Out of Carolina comes Cavedweller, once again demonstrating Allison's umatched strengths as a storyteller. Reading "like a thematic sequel" (The New Yorker) to her first novel, Cavedweller tackles questions of forgiveness, mother-daughter bonds, and the strength of the human spirit. When Delia Byrd packs up her old Datsun and her daughter Cissy and gets on the Santa Monica Freeway heading south and east, she is leaving everything she has known for ten years: the tinsel glitter of the rock 'n' roll world; her dreams of singing and songwriting; and a life lived on credit cards and whiskey with a man who made promises he couldn't keep. Delia Byrd is going back to Cayro, Georgia, to reclaim her life--and the two daughters she left behind...Told in the incantatory voice of one of America's most eloquent storytellers, Cavedweller is a sweeping novel of the human spirit, the lost and hidden recesses of the heart, and the place where violence and redemption intersect.
With his stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb won the adulation of critics and readers with his mesmerizing tale of one woman's painful yet triumphant journey of self-discovery. Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True, a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal--this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world. When you're the same brother of a schizophrenic identical twin, the tricky thing about saving yourself is the blood it leaves on your bands--the little inconvenience of the look-alike corpse at your feet. And if you're into both survival of the fittest and being your brother's keeper--if you've promised your dying mother--then say so long to sleep and hello to the middle of the night. Grab a book or a beer. Get used to Letterman's gap-toothed smile of the absurd, or the view of the bedroom ceiling, or the influence of random selection. Take it from a godless insomniac. Take it from the uncrazy twin--the guy who beat the biochemical rap. Dominick Birdsey's entire life has been compromised and constricted by anger and fear, by the paranoid schizophrenic twin brother he both deeply loves and resents, and by the past they shared with their adoptive father, Ray, a spit-and-polish ex-Navy man (the five-foot-six-inch sleeping giant who snoozed upstairs weekdays in the spare room and built submarines at night), and their long-suffering mother, Concettina, a timid woman with a harelip that made her shy and self-conscious: She holds a loose fist to her face to cover her defective mouth--her perpetual apology to the world for a birth defect over which she'd had no control. Born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening minutes of 1950, the twins are physical mirror images who grow into separate yet connected entities: the seemingly strong and protective yet fearful Dominick, his mother's watchful "monkey"; and the seemingly weak and sweet yet noble Thomas, his mother's gentle "bunny." From childhood, Dominick fights for both separation and wholeness--and ultimately self-protection--in a house of fear dominated by Ray, a bully who abuses his power over these stepsons whose biological father is a mystery. I was still afraid of his anger but saw how he punished weakness--pounced on it. Out of self-preservation I hid my fear, Dominick confesses. As for Thomas, he just never knew how to play defense. He just didn't get it. But Dominick's talent for survival comes at an enormous cost, including the breakup of his marriage to the warm, beautiful Dessa, whom he still loves. And it will be put to the ultimate test when Thomas, a Bible-spouting zealot, commits an unthinkable act that threatens the tenuous balance of both his and Dominick's lives. To save himself, Dominick must confront not only the pain of his past but the dark secrets he has locked deep within himself, and the sins of his ancestors--a quest that will lead him beyond the confines of his blue-collar New England town to the volcanic foothills of Sicily 's Mount Etna, where his ambitious and vengefully proud grandfather and a namesake Domenico Tempesta, the sostegno del famiglia, was born. Each of the stories Ma told us about Papa reinforced the message that he was the boss, that he ruled the roost, that what he said went. Searching for answers, Dominick turns to the whispers of the dead, to the pages of his grandfather's handwritten memoir, The History of Domenico Onofrio Tempesta, a Great Man from Humble Beginnings. Rendered with touches of magic realism, Domenico's fablelike tale--in which monkeys enchant and religious statues weep--becomes the old man's confession--an unwitting legacy of contrition that reveals the truth's of Domenico's life, Dominick learns that power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed, and now, picking through the humble shards of his deconstructed life, he will search for the courage and love to forgive, to expiate his and his ancestors' transgressions, and finally to rebuild himself beyond the haunted shadow of his twin. Set against the vivid panoply of twentieth-century America and filled with richly drawn, memorable characters, this deeply moving and thoroughly satisfying novel brings to light humanity's deepest needs and fears, our aloneness, our desire for love and acceptance, our struggle to survive at all costs. Joyous, mystical, and exquisitely written, I Know This Much Is True is an extraordinary reading experience that will leave no reader untouched.
"Barbara Abercrombie, an author and creative writing instructor at UCLA Extension, offers 365 days' worth of guidance for writers seeking to warm up, stretch, and build creative muscle"--Provided by publisher.
These poems probe the definition of Motherland. Shara McCallum homogenizes childhood memories of her native Jamaica with a revised understanding of danger and corruption, teasing out notions of history, language, motherhood, rupture, memory, and identity. She weaves new cloth of oral tradition, struggling to arrange a comfort zone within the foreign manufactures of suburbia. Hers is the skilled music of a master.
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is renowned author Joyce Carol Oates's newest novel for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Wintergirls and Speak, said that "the painful honesty of this book will crack open your heart." Senior year, their last year together, Merissa and Nadia need their best friend Tink more than they ever did before. They have secrets they can share with no one but her, toxic secrets that threaten to unravel their friendship—and themselves. Tink had a secret, too, a big one, but no one knows what it was. And now she's gone. . . . In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews described Joyce Carol Oates as "a master at portraying the inner lives of teens." In Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You, she's created a powerful portrayal of a friendship strong enough to transcend death.
Trash, Allison's landmark collection, laid the groundwork for her critically acclaimed Bastard Out of Carolina, the National Book Award finalist that was hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "simply stunning...a wonderful work of fiction by a major talent." In addition to Allison's classic stories, this new edition of Trash features "Stubborn Girls and Mean Stories," an introduction in which Allison discusses the writing of Trash and "Compassion," a never-before-published short story. First published in 1988, the award-winning Trash showcases Allison at her most fearlessly honest and startlingly vivid. The limitless scope of human emotion and experience are depicted in stories that give aching and eloquent voice to the terrible wounds we inflict on those closest to us. These are tales of loss and redemption; of shame and forgiveness; of love and abuse and the healing power of storytelling. A book that resonates with uncompromising candor and incandescence, Trash is sure to captivate Allison's legion of readers and win her a devoted new following.
"There is no writer quite like Dolly Alderton working today and very soon the world will know it.”--Lisa Taddeo, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Three Women “Dolly Alderton has always been a sparkling Roman candle of talent. She is funny, smart, and explosively engaged in the wonders and weirdness of the world. But what makes this memoir more than mere entertainment is the mature and sophisticated evolution that Alderton describes in these pages. It’s a beautifully told journey and a thoughtful, important book. I loved it.”--Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and City of Girls The wildly funny, occasionally heartbreaking internationally bestselling memoir about growing up, growing older, and learning to navigate friendships, jobs, loss, and love along the ride When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough. Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humor, Dolly Alderton’s unforgettable debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age—making you want to pick up the phone and tell your best friends all about it. Like Bridget Jones’ Diary but all true, Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its terrifying and hopeful uncertainty.
A mulitcultural anthology of fiction and non-fiction literary narratives which addresses the psychological and political aspects of a woman's body in today's culture. An important and much-needed book for women who seek to understand their bodies and find independent, imaginative ways to cope with aging, beauty expectations beauty expectations, and ethnic comparisons.
As a creative force, student of the human heart and soul, and champion of living the life you want, Oprah Winfrey stands alone. Over the years, she has made history with a legendary talk show - the highest-rated program of its kind, launched her own television network, become the nation's only African-American billionaire, and been awarded both an honorary degree by Harvard University and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. From all her experiences, she has gleaned life lessons—which, for fourteen years, she's shared in O, The Oprah Magazine's widely popular "What I Know For Sure" column, a monthly source of inspiration and revelation. Now, for the first time, these thoughtful gems have been revised, updated, and collected in What I Know For Sure, a beautiful cloth bound book with a ribbon marker, packed with insight and revelation from Oprah Winfrey. Organized by theme—joy, resilience, connection, gratitude, possibility, awe, clarity, and power—these essays offer a rare, powerful and intimate glimpse into the heart and mind of one of the world's most extraordinary women—while providing readers a guide to becoming their best selves. Candid, moving, exhilarating, uplifting, and frequently humorous, the words Oprah shares in What I Know For Sure shimmer with the sort of truth that readers will turn to again and again.
The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don’t Want to Know offers theoretical grounding and practical approaches for leaders and teachers interested in effectively addressing racism and other oppressive constructs. The book draws both on the author’s extensive experience teaching about race and racism in classroom and community settings and from the theory and practice of a wide range of educators, activists, and researchers committed to social justice. The first chapter looks at the toxic consequences of our western cultural insistence on profit, binary thinking, and individualism to establish the theoretical framework for teaching about race and racism. Chapter two investigates privileged resistance, offering a psycho/social history of denial, particularly as a product of racist culture. Chapter three reviews the research on the construction and reconstruction of dominant culture both historically and now in order to establish sound strategic approaches that educators, teachers, facilitators, and activists can take as we work together to move from a culture of profit and fear to one of shared hope and love. Chapter four lays out the stages of a process that supports teaching about racist, white supremacy culture, explaining how students can be taken through an iterative process of relationshipbuilding, analysis, planning, action, and reflection. The final chapter borrows from the brilliant, brave, and incisive writer Dorothy Allison to discuss the things the author knows for sure about how to teach people to see that which we have been conditioned to fear knowing. The chapter concludes with how to encourage and support collective and collaborative action as a critical goal of the process.
A collection of contemplations on life, spirituality, and peace of mind: “Pure food for the soul…a genuine treasure.”—Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit When Karen Casey chose to commit to a spiritual path, her direction in life changed. With a gentle and honest approach, she looks back at her personal experiences to help you make sense of your world and travel down your own spiritual path. Life lessons are all around you. In twenty short chapters, Here, the bestselling author of Each Day a New Beginning shares words of wisdom about life, loss, and everything in between. Taking on universal themes she reveals what matters most about unconditional love, the importance of peace, and more. Inside, find inspirational life lessons like: · Only through relationships can we heal · You are right where you are meant to be · If you share their journey, learn “Casey shares the wisdom she has gathered over the course of her 40 years of membership in Alcoholics Anonymous in this perceptive exploration of how to create a happy and fulfilled life….This wise offering…will be a comfort to readers going through a 12-step program.”—Publishers Weekly
Ninety-six alphabetically arranged author profiles include biographical information, critical commentary, and illustrations.
One summer evening Michael Greenberg's daughter Sally was brought home by the police after rushing into a busy road in Greenwich Village, convinced she could halt the oncoming traffic. The mania had come over her abruptly: her habit of poring obsessively over poems late into the night or listening to music on her battered walkman for hours could be considered 'normal' teenage behaviour, and yet it was a clue to the internal tumult that was about to overwhelm her. Now her behaviour had moved from the realm of the adolescent and eccentric to the acutely unstable, and she needed professional help. And so just a few days later Michael found himself in the surreal world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city's most sweltering months. Confused, anxious, looking for answers, he asked himself whether he was to blame. Perhaps this illness had been Sally's genetic inheritance. Perhaps, as a writer, he hadn't been able to provide the secure and stable home she needed. Sally's mother had left some time ago, finding life in the city suffocating, and his new wife, Pat, had not found it easy building a relationship with his clever, headstrong daughter. But looking around him at the other concerned families in the waiting room, he began to realise that the answers to his questions were not so simple. Touching, memorable and unsentimental, Hurry Down Sunshine is partly an insightful exploration of what mental illness has come to mean in our culture, and partly a moving memoir about how one family learns to cope with the prejudice and uncertainty that faces those affected by it.
Many of America’s foremost, and most beloved, authors are also southern and female: Mary Chesnut, Kate Chopin, Ellen Glasgow, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, Maya Angelou, Anne Tyler, Alice Walker, and Lee Smith, to name several. Designating a writer as “southern” if her work reflects the region’s grip on her life, Carolyn Perry and Mary Louise Weaks have produced an invaluable guide to the richly diverse and enduring tradition of southern women’s literature. Their comprehensive history—the first of its kind in a relatively young field—extends from the pioneer woman to the career woman, embracing black and white, poor and privileged, urban and Appalachian perspectives and experiences. The History of Southern Women’s Literature allows readers both to explore individual authors and to follow the developing arc of various genres across time. Conduct books and slave narratives; Civil War diaries and letters; the antebellum, postbellum, and modern novel; autobiography and memoirs; poetry; magazine and newspaper writing—these and more receive close attention. Over seventy contributors are represented here, and their essays discuss a wealth of women’s issues from four centuries: race, urbanization, and feminism; the myth of southern womanhood; preset images and assigned social roles—from the belle to the mammy—and real life behind the facade of meeting others’ expectations; poverty and the labor movement; responses to Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the influence of Gone with the Wind. The history of southern women’s literature tells, ultimately, the story of the search for freedom within an “insidious tradition,” to quote Ellen Glasgow. This teeming volume validates the deep contributions and pleasures of an impressive body of writing and marks a major achievement in women’s and literary studies.
In this collection of short and flash fiction, Daniel Chacón examines peoples' interactions with each other, the impact of identity and the importance of literature, art and music. In one story, a girl remembers her father, who taught her to love books and libraries. "A book can whisper at you, call at you from the shelves. Sometimes a book can find you. Seek you out and ask you to come and play," he told her. Years later, she finds herself pulling an assortment from the shelves, randomly reading passages from different books and entering into the landscapes as if each book were a wormhole. Somehow one excerpt seems to be a continuation of another, connecting in the way that birds do when they fly from a tree to the roof of a house, making "an idea, a connection, a tree-house., Misconceptions about people, the responsibility of the artist and conflicts about identity pepper these stories that take place in the U.S. and abroad. In "Mais, Je Suis Chicano," a Mexican American living in Paris identifies himself as Chicano, rather than American. "It's not my fault I was born on the U.S. side of the border," he tells a French Moroccan woman when she discovers that he really is American, a word she says "as if it could be replaced with murderer or child molester." Many of the stories are very short and contain images that flash in the reader's mind, loop back and connect to earlier ones. Other stories are longer, like rooms, into which Chacón invites the reader to enter, look around and hang out. And some are more traditional. But whether short or long, conventional or experimental, the people in these pieces confront issues of imagination and self. In "Sábado Gigante," a young boy who is "as big as a gorilla" must face his best friend's disappointment that in spite of his size he's a terrible athlete, and even more confounding, he prefers playing dolls to baseball. Whether in Paris or Ciudad Juárez, Chacón reveals his characters at their most vulnerable in these powerful and rewarding stories, anti-stories and loops.