Bastard Out of Carolina
Greenville County, South Carolina, is home to the Boatwright family - rough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. At the heart of this astonishing novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale.
Bone played by Jena Mal...more
“Two or three t...more
“People pay for that they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And the pay for it simply: by the lives they lead. - James Baldwin” --From the epigraph to the novel.
"No one knows what goes on behind closed doors."
It is hard to swallow, hard to believe, stories such as the one told by Dorothy Allison. The world would be a much prettier and more pleasant place if we did not have to believe things of the nature...more
It is a beautifully-written semi-autobiographical account of a childhood in 1950s-60s South Carolina. The protagonist, nicknamed Bone, is a victim of poverty and physical abuse, including sexual abuse. But she is also part of a big extended family, all of whom are poor, uneducated, loving, and protective. Allison lived this story a...more
”Oh, but that’s why I got to cut his throat,” she said plainly. “If I didn’t love the son of a bitch, I’d let him live forever.”
This statement written by Dorothy Allison in Bastard Out of Carolina and spoken by Alma is often quoted in reviews. Words in the Boatwright family are not always logical and rarely without passion. By the time you read this book you will have had enough experience with the large dysfunctional family to know that.
I remembered Aunt Alma’s direct look this afternoon whe...more
I read this slow. Slow and stubborn, which felt just right. And now I'm snake-bit: I need to hear more from Granny about what...more
That said, what an incredible piece of work. This is a prime example of using fiction to uncover truth and honesty, which seems paradoxical, but is actually quite effective. In this edition, Allison even explains her motivation in using fiction rather than memoir. She even says that she prefers fiction for what it...more
The book is disturbing, at times, being an account of poverty, prejudice, violence, love and hatred, and family dynamics. Bone is...more
But Dorothy Allison doesn’t deliver what she promises on the label. There is, forsooth (oops, there I go again), no White Trash qualia here at all. No madness, no real violence (save for two scenes towards the end), no drunkenness, no n...more
Ruth Anne (“Bone”) is born to her extremely beautiful 15-year-old mother shortly after an auto accident. In the confusion at the hospital her grandmother and aunt can’t agree on her name and as a result her birth certificate bears the label “Illegitimate.” Her grandmother insists this makes no difference; the baby is still part of the Boatwrigh...more
Also of late, this book was written 20 years ago...yet remains in the top 1% of Amazon's bestseller list and has a 94% approval rating on Goodreads. Really, this is an astonishing achievement.
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...more