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4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  3,871 Ratings  ·  155 Reviews
Mi alzai e scrissi una storia, dal principio alla fine. Era una di quelle del taccuino giallo, una di quelle già riscritte, ma stavolta era ancora diversa. Non era veramente me né mia mamma o le mie ragazze, non era veramente nessuna delle persone reali, ma dentro c'era la sensazione, la rabbia assoluta, il dolore della mia vita. Non era la voce lamentosa, ma aveva l'accen ...more
Paperback, OFFICINE T - PAROLE IN CORSO, 2006, 240 pages
Published by Il dito e la luna (first published October 1st 1988)
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Dec 16, 2008 Jude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where i fell in love with Dorothy Allison - this is where i found a voice like no other and first heard her clear invocation of story as not merely survival but triumph - life itself lived with a degree of accountability that is specific to finding the language with which to face it.
Larry Bassett
This is an amazing book. It is filled with stories. Some stories of brutality that you pray you will never experience and some about the strength of families that you might look for, even hope for.

My first book by Dorothy Allison was Bastard Out of Carolina. I gave it five stars and wanted to read more. It took me six months to pick up the next book. I picked Trash because I like short stories and it is one of Allison’s first published books, maybe the fi
Amory Blaine
"We are under so many illusions about our powers...illusions that vary with the moon, the mood, the moment. Waxing, we are all-powerful. We are the mother-destroyers, She-Who-Eats-Her-Young, devours her lover, her own heart; great-winged midnight creatures and the witches of legend. Waning, we are powerless. We are the outlaws of the earth, daughters of nightmare, victimized, raped, and abandoned in our own bodies. We tell ourselves lies and pretend not to know the difference. It takes all we ha ...more
Book Riot Community
While this collection of stories is slim, odds are it’ll take you a few days to trek through. I was confident it was a two-night read, but the gritty, harnessed prose slowed me up and caused it to take about a week. When you read one of Allison’s stories, it takes time to digest. As a reader I was encouraged to dissect each one, but felt as if the job had already been done for me intentionally. Digging for the deeper meaning seems entirely against Allison’s intention, but at the same time is gut ...more
Carl R.
May 16, 2012 Carl R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dorothy Allison is one of my favorite people, even though I don’t know her. I’ve shaken her hand and seen/heard her speak at Squaw Valley and at Tin House, though, and I’ve read enough of her work to know that she is one rare package of compassion, humor, and bitterness. Trash is full of early stories, stories from what she calls her “yellow pages”
in the forward, those pages being a legal pad on which she originally scribbled down recollections of her childhood with no thought of publication. Sh
Sep 19, 2016 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
This is one that I initially read in a writing workshop class in college; my copy ended up going home with a roommate, but the stories stuck with me anyway. It recently popped into my head again, and of course the library had a copy, so I decided it was time for a re-read.

In short, it's a fantastic collection. The stories are hard and unsentimental, often violent and sometimes horrifying, but also surprisingly beautiful at times. Nothing is presented about how things ought to be; it is simply ho
Sep 17, 2008 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dorothy Allison writes in the Southern tradition with a twist--she's a lesbian and she's not ashamed of it, even coming from a dirt poor family that places importance on how many babies you can produce and how well you marry. This slim book is a collection of short memoir narratives that read as if Allison is sitting right in front of you, sipping on sweet tea and smoking a cigarette, while she divulges all of her secrets. Some secrets are raw and painful while others are delightful and sensuous ...more
Ann Douglas
This collection of short stories by Dorothy Allison is as much a book about writing as it is a book of powerfully written short stories. The book's introduction explains how the author found her voice as a writer and what she has learned about writing and herself since this book was first published. The stories themselves are beautifully written and demonstrate tremendous insights into human relationships.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book. (Each quote has been added to the GoodRe
Arielle Milkman
Dec 30, 2013 Arielle Milkman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend passed along this book to me; I read reluctantly, only because it is one of her favorites. But soon Allison's brilliant writing won me over, and I couldn't stop -- because beyond all my inhibitions, her stories made me hungry. This collection is of the sort of visceral prose that shakes its musty scent over everything -- that renders the reader yearning, turned on, repulsed, through it all, wanting more. Allison's hunger, longing, the dislocated desire of young adulthood hold these stor ...more
Dr. Sharada
Nov 13, 2011 Dr. Sharada rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most short story collections, if not all, I've read before contained stories that differed from each other in terms of characters, narrator, and setting. All the stories in Trash are told in Allison's semi-(or more accurately nearly-?)autobiographical voice but they differ in when they happen, where she is and as a result, *who* she is. It was very interesting to see just how different that narrative voice could be, not just as a result of different times or places, but also because of the multi ...more
I found the stories compelling. Usually, I dislike writers who only write what they know, but Allison has a rich enough life to pull it off. There are moments when the rawness comes through beautifully, but other times I struggled to follow the story lines. Perhaps they weren't meant to be read as stories. I often found the writing overly informative, rather than descriptive. In other words, it was hard to visualize the surroundings. The voices were so strong, but they seemed to float in space. ...more
Dec 22, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is powerful, intense, moving writing. The introduction alone is a stunning piece of work, describing the author's decision "to live" and to write her stories. It is a testament to the power the creation of literature has to save and sustain a life. The standard frequenty cited to determine whether or not someone is a "real writer" is whether or not that person would write if they knew no one would ever read their work. In Dorothy Allison's case, the choice between writing and not writing is ...more
Jul 04, 2016 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good group of short stories written by a gay woman who grew up in the south @1950-60's. It was raw and intense. I have never read this author before and was glad to discover her work. I'm now on to another memoir of growing up in the 80's-90's called Hillbilly Elegy. Very different but also a very good look at what it means to grow up in a working class white family in the south/rust belt.
Oct 05, 2007 E rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I could barely get through this book for the same reason it took me three tries before I could sit through all of Schindler's List. It is indeed powerful and gritty, but just so terrifying and sad, especially "River of Names," a basic list of all the horrible things that poverty can drive people to do.
I thought I was going to give this a 4 but since finishing it I've had that special feeling of calm completion that I only get with really, really good books, so 5 it is. I bloody love Dorothy Allison, I love the way she writes, I especially love the way she writes about sex. I want to read everything she's ever written.
Highly graphic, audacious and twisted, this book of short stories is the precursor to Bastard out of Carolina. Although I didn't enjoy Trash nearly as much as Bastard, I did favour 'Don't Tell Me You Don't Know' and 'I'm Working On My Charm.'

Melisa Resch
Jun 25, 2009 Melisa Resch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
get it. worship dorothy allison. give her overly long and unwanted hugs. ask if you can make a movie about her. pretend you don't mind when she politely refuses. bury your hurt in pulled pork sandwiches.
May 06, 2008 simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i just can't ever lose with dorothy allison. over and over again.
Tom Buchanan
Dec 08, 2016 Tom Buchanan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short, fiction
River of Names and her introduction are worth the price of admission here.
Feb 07, 2017 Mary rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this one. I truly loved both the stories and the writing of her two novels. But I didn't click with this book of essays. The first two were very powerful - brutal even - but I had a hard time maintaining my enthusiasm for the rest of them.
Thais Mather
May 14, 2017 Thais Mather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allison might be my favorite author currently. Brutally and beautifully honest work, it will break your heart and mend it with how well written it is.
Izetta Autumn
Jul 07, 2008 Izetta Autumn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstory
"The central fact of my life is that I was born in 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina, the bastard daughter of a white woman from a desperately poor family, a girl who had left the seventh grade the year before, worked as a waitress, and was just a month past fifteen when she birthed me. That fact, the inescapable impact of being born in a condition of poverty that this society finds shameful, contemptible, and somehow oddly deserved, has had dominion over me to such an extent that I have spent ...more
Dec 11, 2016 Noreen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From "Don't Tell Me You Don't Know"

The price of survival.

"You know what it does to you when the people you love most in the world, the people you believe in--cannot survive without believing in--when those people do nothing, don't even know something needs to be done? When you cannot hate them but cannot help yourself? The hatred grows. It just takes over everything, eats you up and makes you somebody full of hate."...I cried because of things I hadn't said, didn't know how to say, cried most o
I read this for book club – or rather, after book club; no library copies were available until then. (The library copy I eventually received had a book club flyer in it…) Mind, my mother has been praising Dorothy Allison for years; it just took me a while to listen.

But I started it, and much to my surprise, I realised that I’d read one of the stories before – River of Names, a litany of cousins and siblings and aunts who had died or been injured or been raped. It’s characteristic of the book: sh
Real Supergirl
Jan 17, 2012 Real Supergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I'm putting Trash in memoir because that's the way it reads, and Allison has spoken about how much of what she has written about is based directly on her own life.

I'm usually not a big fan of "fiction" which is really memoir. I guess I want a little bit of displacement - it may be therapeutic for you to write about your traumatic life experiences but that doesn't make it pleasant to read.

So why do I give Trash 4 stars? Because some - not all, but some - of the stories in this collection read m
Jun 17, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The shelf is called "neglected to finish", but there was nothing as benign as neglect here at all. I read "River of Names", about blue-under-the-linen Shannon and the smell of barbecue, and threw up. Leaned up against the tiles of the bathroom wall, I went back to the very beginning of the book, reading out loud over and over until the words didn't mean anything anymore.
Allison's prose is beautiful but her narrative, the image she draws, it is not beautiful at all. It is line after line of what
May 19, 2013 Els rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in love with Dorothy Allison's raw, tender, in-your-face style of writing. She writes about the women in her life - her mother and aunts, sisters, friends and lovers - and spares no one, exposing the abuse, poverty, and desperation with honest, clear words. However, the short stories are no litanies against her background and the people in her life, but quite the opposite. Allison gives us an inside view in the lives of southern white trash, and shows the love behind those hard masks all th ...more
Feb 04, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
A fantastic storyteller. These stories are fiction, but they come straight from Allison's life, says the prologue, sort of, and it shows. I'm not sure exactly how close to memoir these stories are, but they feel 100% real. An interesting voice, where everything is completely straightforward and erudite, then Allison throws in a "gonna" or something similar. And it works. Things seem to be arranged fairly chronologically, with early stories concerning the narrator's childhood, and so on. A strang ...more
Feb 01, 2010 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Dorothy Allison is without a doubt a wonderful storyteller. I think I just like the format of a novel better than short stories. I like her character development and you just don't get as much of that in the shorter form.

One interesting thing about this collection was that you could see pieces of Bastard Out of Carolina in-progress. There were some overlapping characters (Reese, Mama, Aunt Alma) and stories and even word for word excerpts. I only noticed this because one quote in particular from
Non amo i racconti se non in rarissimi casi. Questo è uno di quelli. Racconti che in un certo qual modo compongono un vero e proprio romanzo. Godibile e fruibile. Una scrittura a volte dura ed un po' grezza, apparentemente e occasionalmente sgrammaticata (questo è uno di quei casi in cui vorresti avere sottomano l'originale).
Un altro mondo, duro e violento eppure... dei flash emotivi degli istanti di deja-vù..... pare a volt4e assurdo parlare di riconoscimento o identificazione con un mondo asso
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Dorothy Allison is an American writer, speaker, and member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Themes in Allison's work include class struggle, child and sexual abuse, women, lesbianism, feminism, and family.

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.

Allison founded The Independe
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“I did things I did not understand for reasons I could not begin to explain just to be in motion, to be trying to do something, change something in a world I wanted desperately to make over but could not imagine for myself.” 56 likes
“Piece by piece, my mother is being stolen from me.” 31 likes
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