Lori L. Lake Presents
The Hall of Fame
I don't have a contact email address for Dorothy
If anyone knows how to reach her, please let me know. Thanks!
Dorothy Allison
Truth Telling Literary Warrior
"It's an illusion that writers have a lot of choice about what they write. Your stories are your stories. They're the only ones you can really tell, and if you try telling ones the world would like you tell, you'll do it badly."
~Dorothy Allison

I have met Dorothy Allison only once, in 1993, at Hungry Mind Bookstore in St. Paul, Minnesota. That day she gave a spirited reading of Bastard Out Of Carolina, signed books for over an hour, then stayed around for at least another hour after that to chat and discuss books in general and writing in particular. She had such energy and so much enthusiasm. I felt instantly comfortable with her, and when I spoke to her personally afterwards, she was warm and personable with a great sense of humor. I will always remember how encouraging she was to me and the other aspiring writers in the audience.

The above quote is similar to something she told me. What I remember from her message that day boiled down to this: write your own stories, find your own voice, write with your own unique style, and tell your own Truth. But above all, just write.

I have taken her advice to heart, and nowadays I find myself giving the same sort of advice to others.

~Lori L. Lake

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Trash: Stories, 1988
A compelling collection of autobiographical narratives, essays, and performance pieces, Trash won Lambda Literary Awards for Best Lesbian Fiction and for Best Lesbian Small Press Book
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Bastard Out of Carolina, 1992
Greenville County, South Carolina, a wild, lush place, is home to the Boatwright family -- rough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. At the heart of this astonishing novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as "Bone," a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. Observing everything with the mercilessly keen eye of a child, Bone finds herself caught up in a family triangle that will test the loyalty of her mother, Anney. Her stepfather, Daddy Glen, calls Bone "cold as death, mean as a snake, and twice as twisty," yet Anney needs Glen. At first gentle with Bone, Daddy Glen becomes steadily colder and more furious - until their final, harrowing encounter, from which there can be no turning back. A finalist for the 1992 National Book Award, this book will knock your socks off.
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The Women Who Hate Me: Poetry 1980-1990, 1991 (reissued from 1983 edition)
Razor sharp, angry, and full of passion, Dorothy Allison stands her ground and refuses to leave any of the hard stuff behind. Whether writing about her dirt-poor Southern childhood, its brutalities and its love, or her lesbian lust--her outlaw sexuality--her poetry is cheeky, touching, and on target as she speaks the truth to the women she loves.

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Skin: Talking about Sex, Class & Literature, 1994
In this compelling collection of essays and autobiographical narratives, the author probes her experience of being a lifelong feminist activist, a controversial sex radical, and an expatriate Southern writer with an attitude. Winner of the 1995 Lambda Literary Award (Lesbian Studies) and the 1995 American Library Association Gay/Lesbian Book Award.

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Two or Three Things I Know For Sure, 1995
In Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, Dorothy Allison takes a probing look at her family's history to give us a lyrical, complex memoir that explores how the gossip of one generation can become legends for the next. Illustrated with photographs from the author's personal collection, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure tells the story of the Gibson women - sisters, cousins, daughters, and aunts - and the men who loved them, often abused them, and, nonetheless, shared their destinies.

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Cavedweller, 1998
When Delia Byrd packs up her old Datsun and her daughter Cissy and gets on the Santa Monica Freeway heading southeast, she's leaving everything she has known for ten years: the tinsel glitter of the rock 'n' roll business; her passion for singing and songwriting; and a life lived on credit cards and whiskey with a man who made big promises he couldn't keep. Delia Byrd is headed back to Cayro, Georgia, and for the first time in years, she knows what she wants - the two daughters she left behind a lifetime ago. It's the only terrain Clint Windsor, the man Delia ran from, and the two girls, Amanda and Dede, have ever known. And when Delia and Cissy reach Cayro, the past unfurls into the present, and Cayro, Georgia, becomes a more complicated place than any of them could have imagined.
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This site updated at 2:00 p.m. on November 2, 2003

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Please contact lori@lorillake.com if you have questions