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Book Review of Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
reviewed on + 255 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3


A dark, well-written slice of Southern life. A slim book--only 94 pages--this was a National Book Award finalist.

From Publishers Weekly
Allison\'s much-praised novel Bastard Out of Carolina was inspired by her childhood in Greenville, South Carolina, but in this memoir, adapted from a performance piece, she cuts even closer to the bone. \"We don\'t have a family Bible?\" the author\'s fourth-grade self asks her aunt. \"Child, some days we don\'t even have a family,\" comes the response. If Allison suffered horrors--notably rape by her stepfather when she was five-- she has transmuted pain into stories, gaining control with maturity. Indeed, her title prefaces several hard-won aphorisms she uses to counterpoint her memories: \"No one is as hard as my uncles had to pretend to be.\" Her mother was a beauty, as was her sister, but Dorothy, smart and plain, felt a legacy of ugliness, one she shook off slowly as her feminism and her heart led her to lesbian relationships, often painful, finally rewarding. She is now, in her 40s, a new mother, and her stories--and life--are a triumph of love over cruelty. Read it aloud and savor the rhythms.


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