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Trash

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,104 ratings  ·  130 reviews
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, ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 24th 2002 by Plume (first published October 1st 1988)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jude
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 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25... 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
...more
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
Carl Brush
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
...more
Lily
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
Arielle Milkman
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
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
...more
Dr. Sharada
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
Matt
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
Peachy
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.'



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E
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.
Melisa Resch
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.
simon
i just can't ever lose with dorothy allison. over and over again.
Liralen
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
...more
Els
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
Real Supergirl
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
...more
Izetta Autumn
"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
Megan
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
...more
Paul
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
Katie
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
...more
Beth Wheeler
There is not doubt that Allison's greatest skill is voice. Holy hell, does she yell loud and clear about where she is from and what she thinks about that. Those of us familiar with having to pose in cultures we are not from, not really cut out for, will understand her unapologetic in-your-face approach, and she does this, as she claims in her introduction, to reclaim something for herself, but readers will feel that she has accomplished this for them too. How many times did I nod along or have t ...more
Mirrordance
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
...more
Van dal
This is my favorite piece by Dorothy Allison. Through 14 short stories she was able to detail some of the most important memories she has in a way that doesn't simplify how those experiences have shaped her.

She is able to make dead or forgotten lovers present yet haunting. She describes the complexities of love, hate and family without making it all seem just painful or just beautiful. Most importantly, through everyday stories she shows the various ways adults who were abused as a child interac
...more
Rhonda Browning White
Painfully honest, gritty and smashingly good. This book of short stories is not for the timid. It's Allison's struggle with poverty, feminism, lesbianism, education and the emotional pain caused by all these things.

"River of Names" caused my throat to tighten. "Monkeybites" made me smile. Each of these stories caused emotion of one sort or another, from disdain to triumph, and often, anger. I wanted to protect this woman one moment, and give her a good shaking the next. Her decisions weren't al
...more
Sarah
Apr 16, 2007 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: edgy chicks
Shelves: queerbookgroup
This book of Dorothy Allison's early short stories is violent, painful, gritty dirty, and totally worth the read. Some of the book group chicks disagreed and found it too harsh to be able to enjoy reading it. I thought that the brutal reality of the stories is what made the book gripping and kept me turning the pages.

The title refers to the common phrase, poor white trash. Dorothy grew up in a very poor, very large, very dysfunctional, family in the south. My only complaint is that Allison's mem
...more
Wiley R
Could not recommend it enough, although it is INCREDIBLY intense. Her poetry is like female Bukowski. And I don't just mean that she's like a female version of him, I mean her poetry is his plus female imagery.
Natalie
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
Ammie
God, I love this book. Dorothy Allison always astounds me no matter how many times I read her work, because there are moments in all of her books where I just utterly believe in what she's telling me as truth, even if it's fiction. She breaks my heart open and seduces me and makes me hungry for pork fat and biscuits, every damn time. I don't love every single story in this collection, but certain ones--"River of Names", "Mama", "A Lesbian Appetite"--and above all the introduction to the first ed ...more
Melody DeMeritt
This absolute classic of the south and of lesbian writing....several short stories with Allison's memoirs of growing up and escaping the south.
Her relationships with women - lovers, cousins, sisters, mothers - are full of drama, love, and humor. Having never been to the south, I learned
much about their culture: foods, domestic abuse, prejudice, and depth of care. She added "Compassion" to this edition and I can only say
that I saw myself and my sisters in her description.

Clearly written and compe
...more
Fugen
Mar 01, 2014 Fugen added it
I'm not sure I want fried eggplant anymore...
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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
...more
More about Dorothy Allison...
Bastard Out of Carolina Cavedweller Two or Three Things I Know for Sure Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature Bastard Out of Carolina / Two or Three Things I Know For Sure

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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.” 35 likes
“Piece by piece, my mother is being stolen from me.” 25 likes
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