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Dorothy Allison writes about sad things: abusive stepfathers, mothers who hate their kids, kids who hate each other. Most of the short stories in her collection, Trash, which was originally published in 1989, deal with Southern lives lived in savage poverty, conditions unfamiliar to me, thank goodness. But near the end of the book, after all the unrelenting rage, Allison touches on a subject dear to my heart: food, especially “bad” food, and its importance in relationships. To wit: “I’ve only had one lover who didn’t want to eat at all. We didn’t last long. The sex was good, but I couldn’t think what to do with her when the sex was finished. We drank spring water together and fought a lot…If I cannot eat what I want, then I’ll eat what I must, but my dreams will always be flooded with salt and grease, crisp fried stuff that sweetens my mouth and feeds my soul. I would rather starve death than myself.” Right on. Grab a plate of wings before stopping to hear Allison read at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703)

525-4227. (Tricia Olszewski)