A modern literary classic, now available in a 20th anniversary edition with a new afterword by the author.
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.
©1992 Dorothy Allison (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
I saw the movie years ago and never forgot the darkness and sadness. This story has enough differences that even though you have seen the movie, you won't recognize it. In the book, Ruth Ann is strong and you know she will be okay. Her situation will make you cry and it will break your heart. In the movie, I don't remember her as being strong. I remember wondering what would happen to this poor girl if she survived her situation. As with most books; this one is also better than the movie.
This should be required reading for all high school students. There are so many stories of love and heartbreak in this book. it's a great book club selection that will keep the conversation going for hours.
This book should be required reading for every 13 year old in the country.
This is the most accurate and brutally honest description of child abuse that I have ever read.
The self loathing, but secrecy, shame and victim-blaming that goes on is spot on.
"Your daddy will lose his job, go to jail and your family will be put out in the cold", mentality is what keeps these horrors from coming out.
All kids need this book.
Bone's story is heartbreaking. But it is heartbreaking in the best possible way. I wanted to wrap her up & hug her, but I also understood the intricacies of family dynamics in a situation such has hers. Bastard Out of Carolina was just so good! I couldn't stop listening & wish there was more to hear! A++
You don’t have to read all of this book to get what is probably its best part. You certainly should read it all – don’t get me wrong – but the essence of it comes to us in the first paragraphs when we hear Bone talk for the first time.
This is the story of a young girl growing into her full self in the face of a great deal of confusion (from her wild and colorful family) and more than her share of hostility (a childish, frightening and terribly abusive step-father). If the question underlying it is always, “What will she learn?” the answer comes to us in the first and really all the following lines: she will grow into her voice, a humorous, clever, musical and thoroughly original voice.
And, when you hear that voice in the first few lines of the book, you know the person speaking them is OK. You know, in other words, that our protagonist emerges from her tough times as a distinct and memorable self. It’s all there in the opening where she tells the story of her birth and her “accidentally” being recorded as a bastard at the county office. Think of a bud at the end of a branch; all the season’s growth is in it in miniature. If you pull it apart carefully enough, you can see everything that will follow.
So, without dismissing Bone’s sustained experiences – as she grapples with moving all the time, with discovering her sexuality, with her attraction to religion and gospel music and, above all, with negotiating her step-father’s growing abuse – this novel is the story of how a girl becomes a woman, how she learns enough to tell her own story.
The violence, naïve sexuality, and confusion about what it means to love someone can be harrowing. Toward the end – which you really must read to understand the depths from which Bone recovers – it gets harder and harder to endure. Bone calls out for someone to help her and, within the novel, she lacks the language to make herself heard. Seeing that, experiencing her when she has no voice, makes that “end” – the original and strong character who emerges as our narrator at the beginning – even more compelling.
Listen to the music of her every sentence. Yes, this book matters for what happens, but it’s memorable for how it happens, for the wonderful human voice at the heart of it.
It ranks about a 8 out of 10 and that only because the ending left me without closure.
Bones. she was a strong little girl who cared more for her family than for herself.
She stayed in Character and I felt her age throughout the book.
Every family has secrets ..some or horrific!
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