Dorothy Allison was born in 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina, as the first child of a fifteen year old mother. She grew up in Greenville, and went on to receive a BA in anthropology from the Florida Presbyterian College and to do graduate work in anthropology at Florida State University and the New School for Social Research.
Dorothy Allison's work includes themes of working class feminism, lesbianism, and child and sexual abuse. She published a poetry chapbook entitled The Women Who Hate Me in 1983 and a short story collection, Trash, in 1988. The collection won two Lambda Literary Awards and the American Library Association Prize for Lesbian and Gay Writing.
Allison achieved mainstream success in the nineties with her two novels. Her first novel, the semi-autobiographical Bastard out of Carolina (1992) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, Cavedweller (1998), became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1998 Lambda Literary Award for fiction.
In 1998, Allison founded The Independent Spirit Award, which is given to individuals who help sustain small presses and independent bookstores that support new writers. She is also on the advisory boards of the National Coalition Against Censorship, Feminists for Free Expression, and the James Tiptree, Jr Award for gender related science fiction and fantasy. In addition, Allison helped found the Lesbian Sex Mafia, an support/information group and club for queer and transexual women involved in BDSM. Allison is dedicated to the causes of safer sex, feminism, queer rights, and small press publishing.
Allison is currently working on her third novel, She Who. She currently lives in Northern California with her partner Alix and their son Wolf Michael.
by Michelle Sands.
"Dorothy Allison," dorothyallison.net, 1 February 2010.
"Dorothy Allison," Wikipedia entry, 1 February 2010.
Cavedweller (Film: 2004), directed by Lisa Cholodenko with Aidan Quinn and Kyra Sedgwick
Cavedweller (Play: 2003)
2 or 3 Things But Nothing for Sure (Film: 1997)
Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)
Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (1995)
Skin: Talking About Sex, Class And Literature (1994)
Bastard Out of Carolina (Film: 1992)
The Women Who Hate Me: Poetry 1980-1990 (1991)
Trash: Short Stories (1988)
The Women Who Hate Me: Poems by Dorothy Allison (1983)