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Dorothy Allison quotes (showing 1-30 of 159)

“Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is the way you can both hate and love something you are not sure you understand.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“The horror of class stratification, racism, and prejudice is that some people begin to believe that the security of their families and communities depends on the oppression of others, that for some to have good lives there must be others whose lives are truncated and brutal.”
Dorothy Allison
“Behind the story I tell is the one I don't.

Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear.

Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is that if we are not beautiful to each other, we cannot know beauty in any form.”
Dorothy Allison
“Change, when it comes, cracks everything open.”
Dorothy Allison
“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.”
Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories
“Two or three things I know for sure, and one is that I would rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.”
Dorothy Allison
“Everything that comes to us is a blessing or a test. That’s all you need to know in this life…just the certainty that God’s got His eye on you, that He knows what you are made of, what you need to grow on. Why,questioning’s a sin, it’s pointless. He will show you your path in His own good time. And long as I remember that, I’m fine.”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“I told her, Don't touch me that way. Don't come at me with that sour-cream smile. Come at me as if I were worth your life - the life we make together. Take me like a turtle whose shell must be cracked, whose heart is ice, who needs your heat. Love me like a warrior, sweat up to your earlobes and all your hope between your teeth. Love me so I know I am at least as important as anything you have ever wanted.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“Write the story that you were always afraid to tell. I swear to you that there is magic in it, and if you show yourself naked for me, I'll be naked for you. It will be our covenant

Dorothy Allison
“I need you to do more than survive. As writers, as revolutionaries, tell the truth, your truth in your own way. Do not buy into their system of censorship, imagining that if you drop this character or hide that emotion, you can slide through their blockades. Do not eat your heart out in the hope of pleasing them.”
Dorothy Allison
“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”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“Piece by piece, my mother is being stolen from me.”
Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories
“Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.”
Dorothy Allison
“Write to your fear.”
Dorothy Allison
“Two or three things I know for sure, and one is that I'd rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“... suffering does not ennoble. It destroys. To resist destruction, self-hatred, or lifelong hopelessness, we have to throw off the conditioning of being despised, the fear of becoming the they that is talked about so dismissively, to refuse lying myths and easy moralities, to see ourselves as human, flawed, and extraordinary. All of us extraordinary”
Dorothy Allison
“Fiction is a piece of truth that turns lies to meaning.”
Dorothy Allison
“It ain't that you get religion. Religion gets you and then milks you dry. Won't let you drink a little whiskey. Won't let you make no fat-assed girls grin and giggle. Won't let you do a damn thing except work for what you'll get in the hearafter. I live in the here and now.”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“I wanted to start over completely, to begin again as new people with nothing of the past left over. I wanted to run away from who we had been seen to be, who we had been... It's the first thing I think of when trouble comes - the geographic solution. Change your name, leave town, disappear, make yourself over. What hides behind that impulse is the conviction that the life you have lived, the person you are, is valueless, better off abandoned, that running away is easier than trying to change things, that change itself is not possible.”
Dorothy Allison, Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature
“Women lose their lives not knowing they can do something different...I claimed myself and remade my life. Only when I knew I belonged to myself completely did I become capable of giving myself to another, of finding joy in desire, pleasure in our love, power in this body no one else owns.”
Dorothy Allison
“For years and years, I convinced myself that I was unbreakable, an animal with an animal strength or something not human at all. Me, I told people, I take damage like a wall, a brick wall that never falls down, never feels anything, never flinches or remembers. I am one woman but I carry in my body all the stories I have ever been told, women I have known, women who have taken damage until they tell themselves they can feel no pain at all.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“she got a reputation for an easy smile and a sharp tongue, and using one to balance the other, she seemed friendly but distant”
Dorothy Allison
“People don't do right because of the fear of God or love of him. You do the right thing because the world doesn't make sense if you don't." (145)”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“The only magic we have is what we make in ourselves, the muscles we build up on the inside, the sense of belief we create from nothing.”
Dorothy Allison, Trash: Stories
“People don't do right because of the fear of God or love of him. You do right because the world doesn't make sense if you don't.”
Dorothy Allison
“Love was something I would not have to worry about - the whole mystery of love, heartbreak songs, and family legends. Women who pined, men who went mad, people who forgot who they were and shamed themselves with need, wanting only to be loved by the one they loved. Love was a mystery. Love was a calamity. Love was a curse that had somehow skipped me, which was no doubt why I was so good at multiple-choice tests and memorizing poetry. Sex was a country I been dragged into as an unwilling girl - sex, and the madness of the body. For all that it could terrify and confuse me, sex was something I had assimilated. Sex was a game or a weapon or an addiction. Sex was familiar. But love - love was another country.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
“He loves her like a gambler loves a fast racehorse or a desperate man loves whiskey. That kind of love eats a man up.”
Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina
“Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is what it means to have no loved version of your life but the one you made.”
Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

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