Dorothy Allison grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, the first child of a fifteen-year-old unwed mother who worked as a waitress. Allison received mainstream recognition with her novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (1992), a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award. The novel won the Ferro Grumley prize, an ALA Award for Lesbian and Gay Writing, became a best seller, and an award-winning movie. She is also the author of the award winning Cavedweller (1998) and Trash (2002) included the prize winning short story, “Compassion” selected for both Best American Short Stories 2003 and Best New Stories from the South 2003.
She describes herself as a feminist, a working class story teller, a Southern expatriate, a sometime poet and a happily born-again Californian.