A young girl grows up rough in the South with plenty of abuse, drinking, family, and lessons.. it sounds like the kind of book that writes itself and may prove predictable in it’s drama, but Dorothy Allison does something quietly magical with her debut darling, The Bastard Out of Carolina. She creates a living, breathing world that feels authentic in no small part to the autobiographical elements of the story. Both author Allison, and protagonist Bone have a very tough life but one that still has some hope, love of family, and incredible personal spirit.
I can listen to people tell tales of their family gossip for hours, and Bastard Out of Carolina kind of feels like that to an extreme. It received numerous honors when it was published and his lauded not only by critics but readers. It was made into an Anjelica Houston directed showtime movie starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jena Malone.