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Paperback Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature Book

ISBN: 1563410443

ISBN13: 9781563410444

Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature

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Book Overview

A fantastic collection of essays, autobiographical narratives, and performance pieces, including updated versions of earlier groundbreaking material with provocative new work by the lifelong feminist... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

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Essays on class, racism, sexuality, and literature

The extraordinary Dorothy Allison can write fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and essays. Skin is her contribution to the essay genre, a collection of two dozen bits of astute rambling across a crazy quilt of subjects stitched together by the fierce honesty her readers have come to expect from all of her writing. Coming from a poor white trash family in South Carolina, she traveled beyond her origins thanks to a rampant intelligence that nothing could dull. A feminist before the word was invented, Allison is also a proud card-carrying lesbian, a writer, mentor, teacher, lecturer, and a woman who is always generous to other writers. Skin deals more explicitly and in greater depth with erotica and sexuality than her other works, so readers would do well to be forewarned. But if you're a Dorothy Allison fan, this is NOT a book to be missed.

A book about SEX!

An opportunity to get thinking about a few "difficult" subjects, while enjoying a few refreshing lines of thought as well as a no-nonense yet witty style.Being a woman, gay or poor not a requisite, although it might help. If you're neither of the three, buy the book anyway, you might learn something (I did).

Words flew off the page and wrapped around my soul.

Not since Andrea Dworkin's "Woman Hating" (that I read in 1978) have I been so moved by the truth of another writer that I would want to emulate it. In sharing Harris's vision of writing as an "uncompromising revolutionary act" the point is made that the mainstream literary world as well as the "so-called avant-garde and burgeoning feminist critical aristocracy" will not appreciate the lesbian writer who "refuses to obey the rules." To both women, nothing is more important than telling the truth, "refusing all categories, all who would shape your writing to their own use.""Yes!" I cried, " The End.

Skin is her best work ever.

Book Review The Forgotten Masterwork: Dorothy Allison's Skin in light of Two of Three Things I Know for Sure Tamara M. Powell Two or Three Things I Know for Sure. Dorothy Allison. New York: Dutton Books, 1995. 94 pp. Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature. Dorothy Allison. Ithaca: Firebrand, 1994. 261 pp. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure has been widely hailed as the newest offering from recent Showtime special Bastard Out of Carolina author Dorothy Allison. The slim novel can be seen as a coming together of the anger Allison poured into Bastard and Trash and the growth she has experienced as she has matured and become a parent herself. Trash reveals the struggles behind her decision to live, while Two or Three Things elucidates the wisdom she has gained along the way. However, between Trash and Two or Three Things, Allison created another work, Skin: Talking About Sex, Class and Literature. And while Two or Three Things has gained much attention, Skin has been all but ignored. But it is Skin that reveals the growth and thought that took place between Trash and Two or Three Things, and instead of looking inward, as Allison's other works do, Skin looks outward, allowing Allison to analyze, contemplate, and theorize upon how she sees the world. Allison is known as a writer who tells her stories over and over. She is conscious of this--and opens Two or Three Things with the line "Let me tell you a story" (1). "Two or three things I know for sure" she closes the first chapter, "and one of them is what it means to have no loved version of your life but the one you make" (3). Allison makes version after version of many events of her life, from scaring her sisters with her stories, to being raped by her stepfather, to receiving glasses from the Lions Club, one of Allison's many talents is that she can make the reader listen to the same story over and over, awestruck, mesmerized. Allison creates herself and re-creates herself in all her works. "Behind the story I tell is the one I don't" she writes, "Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear" (Two or Three 39); "The story I do not tell is the only one that is a lie" (71). But before these stories, before these pictures in Two or Three, there was Skin. Often ignored, it is Skin that pierces below the stories and drawl to stress the importance of addressing the emotions in writing. If Bastard, Trash, and Two or Three are Allison in practice, then Skin is Allison in theory. And it's no ordinary theory. In Skin Allison stresses the importance of addressing emotions in writing. Her quest to divulge her own fear, confusion, shame, lust and love spans twenty-three loosely related essays which discuss what prompted her to read, what prompted her to write, and what her writing is and means to her. However, this is not just a work on understanding Dorothy Allison; she includes large amounts of herstory, both social and political. Like many other of her works, Sk

An amazing collection of essays

"Skin" is one of those books I keep reading over and over, for it's a funny, inspiring, rational and intensely moving collection of essays which focus on the issues she encountered in her "post-South Carolina" life from the mid-70s to mid-80s. But the issues she grapples with affect us all, in particular the way people of all sorts -- women, the working class, the queer, the queerest of the queer, etc. -- are marginalized and even dehumanized. What sets this collection apart from other works dealing with the above is the role writing plays in Allison's life to both focus and clarify the above issues, and to act as a mode of catharsis, whereupon so much is reborn. It's an amazing collection as jaw-droppingly powerful as her fiction; that she wrings this power in a completely different format confirms her as one of our more essential -- and I mean *necessary* -- writers.
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