Siria's Reviews > Bastard Out of Carolina

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
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's review
Apr 17, 2009

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bookshelves: 20th-century, american-fiction
Read in April, 2009

An unsettling tale of life in the rural deep South: of a young, illegitimate girl raised in a tight-knit, loving family whose socio-economic struggles drive them to, and are compounded by, lives of hard drinking and harder fighting. The subject matter—physical and sexual abuse; life on the margins of society; burgeoning childhood sexuality—doesn't make for easy reading, but Allison's prose has a combination of wit, honesty and simplicity that pulls the reader through. Allison perhaps has one or two subtle issues with race, but her dissection of gender in the rural South in the 1960s is superb. Bastard out of Carolina never condescending and always hard-hitting, and that is what perhaps makes the ending—devastating and disturbing in equal measure—at all plausible to the reader.

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04/17/2009 page 1
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