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Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by…

Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Dorothy Allison

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Title:Two or Three Things I Know for Sure
Authors:Dorothy Allison
Info:Plume (1996), Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library

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Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by Dorothy Allison (1995)



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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. (Amazon.com)
  ASGSEC | Feb 7, 2014 |
This brilliant and boldly honest little memoir touched me deeply. Allison explores her southern working class roots, the meanings held therein for the women and the men of her family, the traps and trappings of false bravado and determined survival. Giving full voice to her experience of childhood sexual abuse, she barely flirts with the understandable self-pity and, instead, chooses strength of voice and strength of character.

Musing on the fate and demands upon the girls and women in her family:
"Beauty is a hard thing. Beauty is a mean story. Beauty is slender girls who die young, fine-featured delicate creatures about whom men write poems. Beauty, my first girlfriend said to me, is that inner quality often associated with great amounts of leisure time. And I loved her for that."

"The women I loved most in the world horrified me. I did not want to grow up to be them. I made myself proud of their pride, their determination, their stubbornness, but every night I prayed a man's prayer: Lord, save me from them. Do not let me become them."

And later, exploring the impact of the childhood rape and her efforts to transcend what this necessarily taught her about herself, her determination to define her own place in the world:
"Two or three things I know for sure, and one is that I would rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me."

At moments poetic, certainly not linear, this memoir also lets the reader into deep sibling rivalries and adoration. Beautiful. ( )
2 vote EBT1002 | Jan 24, 2014 |
( )
  julierh | Apr 7, 2013 |
Simply; candid, arduous, inspiring and eerily familiar. "I am no longer a grown-up outraged child but a woman letting go of her outrage, showing what I know: that evil is a man who imagines the damage he does is not damage, that evil is the act of pretending that some things do not happen or leave no mark if they do, that evil is not what remains when healing becomes possible."

  PamelaReads | Aug 5, 2011 |
Dorothy Allison's life has been nothing like my own, except that we both live in South Carolina and we both have strong women in our family. This slim volume is very packed with experiences, some not so great, of the author and her family. Apparently, it was culled from a performance piece she did a while about. There are moments that are poignant, like when Allison, was in fourth grade and trying to complete a homework project on family trees. The teacher had instructed the children to go home and talk to adults or look in the family bible for who their ancestors were. But Allison came up empty in the search for the bible. "We don't have a family Bible?" she asked her aunt. "Child, some days we don't even have a family," comes the response. And there are some downright horrifying things that occur within the family as well. But the memories are told with an honesty and, yes, with love (though it's often tinged with bitterness.) The photos included were nice, but I would have liked to know who I was looking at. There is a value in captions. ( )
  bookczuk | Apr 10, 2010 |
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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.

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