I Am a Red Dress: Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother, and a Daughter

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arsenal pulp press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 181 pages
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In I Am a Red Dress, acclaimed writer and performer Anna Camilleri confronts the ghosts of her past as she seeks to find her rightful place in the world. Part memoir, part storytelling, Anna writes with passion and conviction about family and identity, and how the wounds of personal history can be healed through the imagination.

These eloquent stories and narratives speak to the heart of three generations of women-Anna, her mother, and her grandmother-as they dealt with a cycle of family abuse; in them, the red dress appears as a symbol of defiance and empowerment. Throughout the book, Anna unravels memory that is inextricably tied to culture, class, and tradition, in a strong and beautiful voice that bravely asserts its right to be heard.

 

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Contents

Lexicon of the Red Dress part 1
17
Crimson Queen
21
Compass
28
Promise
36
Blow
40
Salt Water
44
House of Cards
53
Lexicon of the Red Dress part 2
73
Incarnadine
118
Flame
127
Tough Girl Dreams
131
Kiss
140
Swing
148
Girls Run Circles
157
Topsoil Aftershave and Charm
160
Prodigal Daughter
168

Cut From the Same Stone
77
Skin to Scar
85
Sorority
92
Handing Down the Red Dress
97
Lexicon of the Red Dress part 3
113
Epilogue
174
Acknowledgments
177
Publication and Performance Notes
178
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About the author (2004)

Anna Camilleri is a Toronto-based writer, and performer. . She co-edited the anthology Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity, a Lambda Award nominee, as well as co-authored Boys Like Her as a member of the Taste This collective. In 2004, she published her memoir, I Am a Red Dress.

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