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Hopeful Grief: The Prospect of a Postmodernist Feminism in Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina

Hopeful Grief: The Prospect of a Postmodernist Feminism in Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina Hopeful Grief: The Prospect of a Postmodernist Feminism in Allison s Bastard Out of Carolina by Vincent King Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina is a lyrical yet fiercely disturbing portrait of a South Carolina family besieged by poverty, vio- lence, and incest. Narrated by young Ruth Anne Boatwright — or Bone as she is called by her family — the novel begins, ordinarily enough, with her birth and early years and quickly focuses on the relationship between Bone and her violent stepfather, Daddy Glen. Glen’s abuse of Bone reaches a fever pitch in the eighth chapter. There a young intern, who is treating Bone’s second broken clavicle, notices that her coccyx has also been broken. Confronted by the angry doctor, the mother finally admits ( if only temporarily) the seriousness of Glen’s mistreatment of Bone. But at the beginning of chapter nine, the novel takes a surprising — and potentially misguided — turn. Glen, who has played such a pivotal role in the novel, becomes little more than a peripheral character. While Bone’s world is still haunted and shaped by the threat that he poses, Glen no longer figures prominently in the action. And the story of Bone’s http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Hopeful Grief: The Prospect of a Postmodernist Feminism in Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 33 (1) – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Department of English of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Hopeful Grief: The Prospect of a Postmodernist Feminism in Allison s Bastard Out of Carolina by Vincent King Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina is a lyrical yet fiercely disturbing portrait of a South Carolina family besieged by poverty, vio- lence, and incest. Narrated by young Ruth Anne Boatwright — or Bone as she is called by her family — the novel begins, ordinarily enough, with her birth and early years and quickly focuses on the relationship between Bone and her violent stepfather, Daddy Glen. Glen’s abuse of Bone reaches a fever pitch in the eighth chapter. There a young intern, who is treating Bone’s second broken clavicle, notices that her coccyx has also been broken. Confronted by the angry doctor, the mother finally admits ( if only temporarily) the seriousness of Glen’s mistreatment of Bone. But at the beginning of chapter nine, the novel takes a surprising — and potentially misguided — turn. Glen, who has played such a pivotal role in the novel, becomes little more than a peripheral character. While Bone’s world is still haunted and shaped by the threat that he poses, Glen no longer figures prominently in the action. And the story of Bone’s

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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