Bastard Out of Carolina, nominated for the 1992 National Book Award for fiction, introduced Dorothy Allison as one of the most passionate and gifted writers of her generation. Now, in Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, she 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. With luminous clarity, Allison explores how desire surprises and what power feels like to a young girl as she confronts abuse. As always, Dorothy Allison is provocative, confrontational, and brutally honest. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, steeped in the hard-won wisdom of experience, expresses the strength of her unique vision with beauty and eloquence.
An autobiographical work written for the stage explores such topics as love and loss, beauty and terror, and the intricacies of family love and hatred, while illuminating the rural poverty of the South
The Classic work of fiction that dramatically illuminates the lives described in current nonfiction bestsellers like J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy and Nancy Isenberg's White Trash 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.
From the author of the "flawless" (The New York Times Book Review) classic Bastard Out of Carolina comes Cavedweller, once again demonstrating Allison's umatched strengths as a storyteller. Reading "like a thematic sequel" (The New Yorker) to her first novel, Cavedweller tackles questions of forgiveness, mother-daughter bonds, and the strength of the human spirit. When Delia Byrd packs up her old Datsun and her daughter Cissy and gets on the Santa Monica Freeway heading south and east, she is leaving everything she has known for ten years: the tinsel glitter of the rock 'n' roll world; her dreams of singing and songwriting; and a life lived on credit cards and whiskey with a man who made promises he couldn't keep. Delia Byrd is going back to Cayro, Georgia, to reclaim her life--and the two daughters she left behind...Told in the incantatory voice of one of America's most eloquent storytellers, Cavedweller is a sweeping novel of the human spirit, the lost and hidden recesses of the heart, and the place where violence and redemption intersect.
With his stunning debut novel, She's Come Undone, Wally Lamb won the adulation of critics and readers with his mesmerizing tale of one woman's painful yet triumphant journey of self-discovery. Now, this brilliantly talented writer returns with I Know This Much Is True, a heartbreaking and poignant multigenerational saga of the reproductive bonds of destruction and the powerful force of forgiveness. A masterpiece that breathtakingly tells a story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal--this novel is a contemporary retelling of an ancient Hindu myth. A proud king must confront his demons to achieve salvation. Change yourself, the myth instructs, and you will inhabit a renovated world. When you're the same brother of a schizophrenic identical twin, the tricky thing about saving yourself is the blood it leaves on your bands--the little inconvenience of the look-alike corpse at your feet. And if you're into both survival of the fittest and being your brother's keeper--if you've promised your dying mother--then say so long to sleep and hello to the middle of the night. Grab a book or a beer. Get used to Letterman's gap-toothed smile of the absurd, or the view of the bedroom ceiling, or the influence of random selection. Take it from a godless insomniac. Take it from the uncrazy twin--the guy who beat the biochemical rap. Dominick Birdsey's entire life has been compromised and constricted by anger and fear, by the paranoid schizophrenic twin brother he both deeply loves and resents, and by the past they shared with their adoptive father, Ray, a spit-and-polish ex-Navy man (the five-foot-six-inch sleeping giant who snoozed upstairs weekdays in the spare room and built submarines at night), and their long-suffering mother, Concettina, a timid woman with a harelip that made her shy and self-conscious: She holds a loose fist to her face to cover her defective mouth--her perpetual apology to the world for a birth defect over which she'd had no control. Born in the waning moments of 1949 and the opening minutes of 1950, the twins are physical mirror images who grow into separate yet connected entities: the seemingly strong and protective yet fearful Dominick, his mother's watchful "monkey"; and the seemingly weak and sweet yet noble Thomas, his mother's gentle "bunny." From childhood, Dominick fights for both separation and wholeness--and ultimately self-protection--in a house of fear dominated by Ray, a bully who abuses his power over these stepsons whose biological father is a mystery. I was still afraid of his anger but saw how he punished weakness--pounced on it. Out of self-preservation I hid my fear, Dominick confesses. As for Thomas, he just never knew how to play defense. He just didn't get it. But Dominick's talent for survival comes at an enormous cost, including the breakup of his marriage to the warm, beautiful Dessa, whom he still loves. And it will be put to the ultimate test when Thomas, a Bible-spouting zealot, commits an unthinkable act that threatens the tenuous balance of both his and Dominick's lives. To save himself, Dominick must confront not only the pain of his past but the dark secrets he has locked deep within himself, and the sins of his ancestors--a quest that will lead him beyond the confines of his blue-collar New England town to the volcanic foothills of Sicily 's Mount Etna, where his ambitious and vengefully proud grandfather and a namesake Domenico Tempesta, the sostegno del famiglia, was born. Each of the stories Ma told us about Papa reinforced the message that he was the boss, that he ruled the roost, that what he said went. Searching for answers, Dominick turns to the whispers of the dead, to the pages of his grandfather's handwritten memoir, The History of Domenico Onofrio Tempesta, a Great Man from Humble Beginnings. Rendered with touches of magic realism, Domenico's fablelike tale--in which monkeys enchant and religious statues weep--becomes the old man's confession--an unwitting legacy of contrition that reveals the truth's of Domenico's life, Dominick learns that power, wrongly used, defeats the oppressor as well as the oppressed, and now, picking through the humble shards of his deconstructed life, he will search for the courage and love to forgive, to expiate his and his ancestors' transgressions, and finally to rebuild himself beyond the haunted shadow of his twin. Set against the vivid panoply of twentieth-century America and filled with richly drawn, memorable characters, this deeply moving and thoroughly satisfying novel brings to light humanity's deepest needs and fears, our aloneness, our desire for love and acceptance, our struggle to survive at all costs. Joyous, mystical, and exquisitely written, I Know This Much Is True is an extraordinary reading experience that will leave no reader untouched.
Includes an excerpt from What to say next.
The bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep delivers a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying novel “infused with warmth and humor” (People) about a lifelong friendship, a devastating secret, and the small acts of kindness that bring people together. There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing…might take a bit more explaining. Eighty-four-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, she thinks about her friend Elsie and wonders if a terrible secret from their past is about to come to light. If the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago? From the acclaimed, bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, Three Things About Elsie “breathes with suspense, providing along the way piercing, poetic descriptions, countless tiny mysteries, and breathtaking little reveals…a rich portrait of old age and friendship stretched over a fascinating frame” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). This is an “amusing and heartbreaking” (Publishers Weekly) story about forever friends on the twisting path of life who come to understand how the fine threads of humanity connect us all.
Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You is renowned author Joyce Carol Oates's newest novel for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Wintergirls and Speak, said that "the painful honesty of this book will crack open your heart." Senior year, their last year together, Merissa and Nadia need their best friend Tink more than they ever did before. They have secrets they can share with no one but her, toxic secrets that threaten to unravel their friendship—and themselves. Tink had a secret, too, a big one, but no one knows what it was. And now she's gone. . . . In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews described Joyce Carol Oates as "a master at portraying the inner lives of teens." In Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You, she's created a powerful portrayal of a friendship strong enough to transcend death.
A modern-day classic. This highly acclaimed adventure series about two friends desperate to save their doomed city has captivated kids and teachers alike for almost fifteen years and has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies! The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues before the lights go out on Ember forever! Nominated to 28 State Award Lists! An American Library Association Notable Children’s Book A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection A Kirkus Reviews Editors’ Choice A Child Magazine Best Children’s Book A Mark Twain Award Winner A William Allen White Children’s Book Award Winner “A realistic post-apocalyptic world. DuPrau’s book leaves Doon and Lina on the verge of undiscovered country and readers wanting more.” —USA Today “An electric debut.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred “While Ember is colorless and dark, the book itself is rich with description.” —VOYA, Starred “A harrowing journey into the unknown, and cryptic messages for readers to decipher.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred
With half a million copies in print, How to Read a Book is the best and most successful guide to reading comprehension for the general reader, completely rewritten and updated with new material. A CNN Book of the Week: “Explains not just why we should read books, but how we should read them. It's masterfully done.” –Farheed Zakaria Originally published in 1940, this book is a rare phenomenon, a living classic that introduces and elucidates the various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading. Readers will learn when and how to “judge a book by its cover,” and also how to X-ray it, read critically, and extract the author’s message from the text. Also included is instruction in the different techniques that work best for reading particular genres, such as practical books, imaginative literature, plays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science works. Finally, the authors offer a recommended reading list and supply reading tests you can use measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension, and speed.