Emory Report
February 25, 2008
Volume 60, Number 21

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February 25, 2008
Allison to teach, develop play with Theater Emory

By Paula Vitaris

Emory welcomes award-winning author Dorothy Allison for a three-month residency as the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Distinguished Visiting Professor for spring 2008. Allison, whose works include the novels “Bastard Out of Carolina” and “Cavedweller” and the short story collection “Trash,” has become known as the foremost Southern writer of her generation and one of the nation’s most important voices in feminist and lesbian writing.

Many activities are scheduled for Allison to interact with students, faculty, staff and members of the local community. Allison will teach a section of intermediate fiction for the Creative Writing Program, and visit other classes.

Allison, whose bestseller “Cavedweller” was adapted for the stage in 2003 and later for film, is also collaborating with Theater Emory on an adaptation of her story “Tell Me Something We Don’t Know.”

“We’re doing an exploratory workshop with theater students, faculty and area professionals,” said Lisa Paulsen, director of Emory’s Playwriting Center. “It’s not a traditional rehearsal, but rather an active, collaborative exploration of the material, with an eye to finding theatrical possibilities. Ms. Allison has a distinct voice, and we are hungry to hear it in the theater.”

Allison will take part in the Center for Women Coffee Hour on Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. (RSVP to rgsledg@emory.edu or 404-727-2031) and the annual Feminist Founder’s Reading at 8:15 p.m., March 3, in the Jones Room, Woodruff Library. A calendar of Allison’s other appearances during the span of her residency is available at www.creativewriting.emory.edu/calendar/allisonpubliccalendar.html.

Allison will also take part in a variety of community events, including readings at Kennesaw State University on March 29 and Charis Books and More on April 6.

Allison’s personal goal for her time at Emory: finish the final edit of her upcoming novel “She Who.”

“In between meeting students and enjoying spring in Atlanta, I’m doing what I’m teaching my students to do — how to do the best revision possible,” she said adding with a smile, “Writers who don’t learn how to edit themselves have short, miserable careers.”