The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories - River of Names by Dorothy Allison Summary & Analysis

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River of Names by Dorothy Allison Summary

River of Names is the story of a young woman, now identified as a lesbian, and the discrepancies between her childhood and her present. The story cuts back and forth between her childhood in a large poor family, and her present relationship with Jesse, a kind woman who had a pleasant childhood. In the past, the first-person narrator remembers molestation and death and terrible accidents. In the present, Jesse is amazed by the narrator's taste for violence and her unwillingness to have children. The story ends with Jesse complimenting the narrator's gift for telling stories; the narrator admits that she lies, but in a way that admits nothing about her past to her girlfriend.

River of Names by Dorothy Allison Analysis

In River of Names, the dual stories evoke the dual lives of the narrator. By intermingling...

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This section contains 201 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Study Guide
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