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I am a Red Dress

Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother, and a Daughter

by Anna Camilleri

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jewish studies, women's studies
list price: $19.95
category: Social Science
published: 2004
publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

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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Editorial Reviews

A celebration of the perennial state of becoming, within and through fracture, In I Am a Red Dress is a poignant testimony. Evocatively written through the lushly rouged and split lip of poetry, Camilleri deftly "remakes language, profane, and delicate," and writes herself loudly and vividly from the gaps cloaked by and within the red dress.
-Herizons Magazine

— Herizons

I Am a Red Dress is exceptionally strong in will, humanity, and bravery.
-Broken Pencil Magazine.

— Broken Pencil

...a work of some emotional power.
-Monday Magazine

— Monday Magazine

...letting her controlled prose and evocative metaphors take you right there to see for yourself.
-Vancouver Rain Review of Books

— Vancouver RainReview

I am a Red Dress is a very intimate telling....
-The Georgia Straight

— Georgia Straight

...lyrical, intimate and honest.
-Xtra! Magazine

— Xtra!

I Am a Red Dress is a book that stares into eyes that mutter "whore" to pre-pubescent girls and wears a red dress in defiance. It is indeed a necessary book.
-T. Brent Schauss

— T. Brent Schauss

Pointed and powerful. . . . Camilleri's a terrific writer, in control of some emotionally charged prose.

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About the Author

Anna Camilleri

Artist Anna Camilleri has been hailed as a "tough, visceral and funny" (Atlanta Journal Constitution) "cultural agitator and fab femme" (Now Magazine) – "this lady in red has an important message to share" (Quill and Quire). She has performed for the last decade in Canada and the US in theatres, festivals, universities, and in houses of ill-repute. Recent work includes one-woman show Sounds Siren Red (Red Dress Productions), performance installation Poetry Is Not a Luxury (Mayworks) and experimental documentary Red Dress (CBC Radio 1, Outfront). In Toronto, her hometown, she has also curated performance programs for Mayworks Festival of Working People in the Arts, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Inside Out.

She is the author of I Am a Red Dress: Incantations on a Grandmother, a Mother and a Daughter (Arsenal Pulp Press), editor of Red Light: Superheroes, Saints and Sluts(Arsenal), co-author of Boys Like Her: Transfictions,and co-editor of Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity (Arsenal). Her writing has been alternately described as "brave and necessary" (Books in Canada); "provocative and evocative" (Xtra); "genuine and unflinching," and as "speaking eloquently of the need for civil rights for all of us' (Lambda Book Report). Her online domain is annacamilleri.com

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