Alexis Jetter

The Roseanne of Literature

The New York Times Magazine - December 17, 1995

Dorothy Allison WRITES EVERYTHING down: dialogue she overhears on buses, the stories of her dead aunts, fragments from old June Carter songs. She takes notes even while talking to friends on the telephone, typing bits of their conversation into her computer. "I have a terrible memory," she explains, a little defensively, when caught. She arches one eyebrow and smiles wickedly, her bad eye squinting to see if I believe her. I don't. Her closet is lined with red, black and gray notebooks full of journal entries that became poems, then short stories and eventually, novels. "Watch out," she tells people, "or I'm liable to put you in a story."