On this day…
11th April, 1949 – Dorothy Allison born
Dorothy Allison (born April 11, 1949) is an American writer, speaker, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her writing includes themes of class struggle, sexual abuse, child abuse, feminism and lesbianism. She is a self-identified lesbian femme. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including several Lambda Literary Awards.
Allison’s first novel, the semi-autobiographical Bastard Out of Carolina, was published in 1992 and was one of five finalists for the 1992 National Book Award. Graphic in its depiction of Southern poverty, family ties, illegitimacy, child abuse, and rape, Bastard went on to win the Ferro Grumley and Bay Area Reviewers Award for fiction. The novel has been translated into over a dozen languages. A film version, directed by Anjelica Huston, premiered in 1996 on Showtime amid some controversy for its disturbing content. The film was banned by Canada’s Maritime Film Classification Board, both theatrically and in video release.
Cavedweller, Allison’s second novel, was published in 1998 and became a New York Times bestseller. It won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for fiction and was a finalist for the Lillian Smith Prize. Cavedweller has been adapted for the stage and screen, most notably in the 2004 film starring Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, directed by Lisa Cholodenko.
Allison’s book Trash: Short Stories was originally published in 1988 by Firebrand Books. It was later re-released by Penguin (1990) and Plume (2002) with additional short stories such as Compassion and Deciding to Live. It won the 1989 Lambda Literary Award for “Best Lesbian Small Press Book” and the Lambda Literary Award “Best Lesbian Fiction”.