Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
A Novel

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The modern literary classic that has been compared to To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye.

"As close to flawless as any reader could ask for."
-The New York Times Book Review

The publication of Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina was a landmark event. The novel's profound portrait of family dynamics in the rural South won the author a National Book Award nomination and launched her into the literary spotlight. Critics have likened Allison to William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Harper Lee, naming her the first writer of her generation to dramatize the lives and language of poor whites in the South. Since its appearance, the novel has inspired an award-winning film and has been banned from libraries and classrooms, championed by fans, and defended by critics.

Greenville County, South Carolina, is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright family-a tight-knit clan of rough-hewn, hard- drinking men who shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. At the heart of this story is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a bastard child who observes the world around her with a mercilessly keen perspective. When her stepfather Daddy Glen, "cold as death, mean as a snake," becomes increasingly more vicious toward her, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that tests the loyalty of her mother, Anney-and leads to a final, harrowing encounter from which there can be no turning back.

Now available in a twentieth anniversary keepsake edition with a new afterword by the author.


About Dorothy Allison

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DOROTHY ALLISON was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and is the author of several critically acclaimed and bestselling books, including Cavedweller and Trash. Awarded the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction, Allison is a member of the board of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She lives in northern California.
Published September 6, 2005 by Plume. 324 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Self Help. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for Bastard Out of Carolina

Kirkus Reviews

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Glen adores Anney but the Boatwrights have their reservations: ``the boy could turn like whiskey in a bad barrel.'' Indeed, not only does he have trouble holding a job but soon makes Bone a scapegoat for his frustrations: she suffers beatings and sexual molestation, keeping silent in order not to...

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Publishers Weekly

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Ruth Anne Boatwright, 13, got the nickname Bone at birth, when she was tiny as a knucklebone, and the tag acquires painful derivatives, like ``Bonehead.'' While her mother, Annie, a waitress, tries vainly to get the word ``illegitimate'' scrubbed from Bone's birth certificate, her tobacco-spittin...

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BC Books

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The book's attention is most keenly focussed on Bone's relationship with her increasingly abusive stepfather and with her mother.

Oct 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel


And maybe it is this difference that sets Daddy Glen (Bone's Stepfather) on the path of abuse - directed solely at Bone.

May 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

In Bastard Out of Carolina, twelve-year-old Bone Boatwright survives by leaning on the love of her aunts, the solace of gospel music, and the same ferocious intelligence that shapes Dorothy Allison's powerful first novel, a finalist for last year's National Book Award for fiction.

Mar 26 1993 | Read Full Review of Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

A Originally posted Oct 30, 1992 Published in issue #142 Oct 30, 1992 Order article reprints

Oct 30 1992 | Read Full Review of Bastard Out of Carolina: A Novel

The Independent

One thing they do not find out until too late is that Bone's stepfather number two, the temperamental black sheep of a much wealthier family, has chosen Bone as his object for sexual and physical abuse.

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Eva Hoxha

Eva Hoxha 19 Jan 2014

Added the book to want to read list