Caitlin Constantine's Reviews > Skin: Talking about Sex, Class and Literature

Skin by Dorothy Allison
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's review
Feb 24, 2009

really liked it

First, don't do as I did and read this all at once. I did, and after a while, I was like, Okay, I get it, you went to a lot of meetings and built bookshelves at the women's center and like butch women who will dominate you. That kind of exasperation isn't really fair, because this is a collection of autobiographical essays written over Allison's career, and as anyone who has ever engaged in autobiographical writing knows, you are kind of limited in your material.

Aside from that I was struck by how emotional and powerful her writing is. I particularly liked her writing about her background as a poor Southern white lesbian, and how all of those aspects of her identity often clashed with each other and with the world around her. That she has finally been able to come to some sort of peace with herself and the world around her is so inspiring to me.

I also really enjoyed her writing on writing and literature. I am a sucker for that kind of writing, because as someone who is passionate about both things and has been her entire life, I really find myself having strong opinions and the ability to relate to others with strong opinions.

All in all, essential reading for anyone with any kind of passion for social justice and a love for humanity.
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