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Each year the Ernest Hemingway Foundation and PEN New England award the PEN Hemingway prize for the year's best first work of fiction. The ceremony takes place at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, home of the Hemingway Collection, and a distinguished author delivers a keynote address. Here we present the keynote address of Dorothy Allison, who spoke at the ceremony honoring 2010 PEN Hemingway award winner Brigid Pasulka and her novel, A Long Long Time Ago & Essentially True! (Houghton Mifflin, 2009). Allison is best-known as the author of the novel Bastard Out of Carolina, a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award. The novel won the Ferro Grumley prize, and an ALA Award for Lesbian and Gay Writing, becoming a bestseller, and an award-winning movie. Cavedweller (1998) became a national bestseller, a NY Times Notable Book of the Year, and an ALA prize winner. Allison is also a highly regarded author of short fiction.