Mel's Reviews > Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison
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Aug 08, 08

bookshelves: nonfiction

Allison’s memoir employs many new strategies for me. She incorporates photographs into her work, whether they are successful or not, I don’t know, while I enjoyed them, they were at time distracting, as they had no identifiers. Allison also admits this text was originally meant as a performance piece, this aspect definitely gave the piece a different feel. I read several sections out loud. This offers a new dimension to the text. One can hear the story told.
While it is Allison’s story, about Allison’s family one gets the impression that it could be any southern family. The women are composites—successful composites. They resemble smoking, cussing women all over the southern United States. Allison presents her picture of these women, filtered through her experiences; some of which may be difficult for others to grasp. But her characters could be next door, or up the street. Everyone from small-town America knows the girl who was desperate to find a perfect life in the big city, only to return broken and defeated.
Throughout the text Allison hangs on to what is important to her in small-town America without letting her reader forget that she has moved on and made dramatic changes in her personal reality. Changes, which in many ways, permanently remove her from that small town setting.
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