Title: Two or Three Things I Know For Sure
Author: Dorothy Allison
Genre: memoir, LGBT, nonfiction, feminism
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) 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.
Review: it’s rare that I’m surprised by books anymore but Dorothy Allison’s Two or Three Things I Know For Sure was a happy surprise. I was drawn in by her writing style first. It’s simplistic, but descriptive, word work was refreshing. I felt connected to Allison’s words and stories. She broke up the text by using family pictures. The pictures provided their own beautiful storyline too. Her life wasn’t always easy, and her descriptions of those struggles and tough issues really enhanced her storytelling. It felt a little like stream of consciousness writing, like there were some stories that needed to be told in that exact moment. I’ve felt that way too — she pulled at one thread and then the fabric started to unravel.