Dorothy Allison is nothing short of an inspiration. Everyone goes through at least one experience in life where their hope falters, wondering if things will ever change or improve. In my opinion Dorothy Allison is just one of many woman whom prove through their own experiences, that even through hard times there is a chance making your reality what you want it to be and getting past the hard times is possible.
There was always a chance that Allison's story would never be heard, but fortunately from inspiration of Toni Morrison's The bluest Eye, Dorothy Allison chose to write and share her words in the novel Bastard out of Carolina. Then, a few years later in 1995 her book Two or Three Things I Know for Sure was published. Finally Allison was describing the horrifying yet triumphant story in her own words and experiences, instead of through fictional characters. As if her courage had reached an entirely new level and the pain and fury that she has felt so many years before could be slowly released for all to see.
Two or Three Things I know for Sure is an intimate glimpse into Dorothy Allison's life; both good and bad, riddled with family and personal photos. Not all the stories within the book are saddening, “when she came out to her sister, her first sex with a woman, her mother's death, even the bad times that a little bit of good in them. Her book is a family and personal history, as good as any photo album.” (Philadelphia City Paper Book Quarterly, Paragraph 4) Much like the contents of Bastard out of Carolina, the topics brought up in text are considered both risque and for some, too much to handle. Some of these specific topics are child abuse, sexual abuse, lesbianism, family structure and issues related. One of her main things was how a family can be close, isolated, loving or abusive and either way the pain and destruction results in similar ways. In many ways Dorothy's mother was very supportive and loving but showed a different side when the sexual and physical abuse from her stepfather continued, even after Allison came forward about the abuse. This subject specifically was a tough one for some readers and critics to handle. Even though I believe we all know that sexual and physical abuse from a parent or relative is more common than thought of, it is still considered taboo and more or less a subject for a family to handle internally and in secret. Unfortunately, even after Dorothy Allison gather the confidence to tell relatives about the abuse she was dealing with even from a young age, the response was less than helpful. Many thought it was unfathomable and her plea for help was pushed aside. It wasn't until she left for college in Florida that abuse was something she could escape. Having the courage to tell her story was a risk to her own feelings but I believe her message was much more than just to get it off her chest. Allison was reaching out, attempting to wake up her readers and help individuals see that this abuse is common and in direr need of attention and some sort of action.
Overall Dorothy Allison is inspiration to me for the simple fact that she speaks the truth. Yes sometimes life is harsh and it seems to be easier ignore the negative things that happen to all of us, but ignoring the issue does not make it disappear. Allison calls attention to subjects that are in need of discussion, understanding and a listening ear. By allowing herself to release her feelings and experiences onto paper for us to read, she has opened her own heart as well as our minds.