Dotty Oliver accepts her role as the Mistress of the Misunderstood, a daring voice for truth and the everyman, with humor and empathy. From the backwoods of Arkansas living in a rock and roll commune with 70s band Black Oak Arkansas to the streets of Amsterdam and Black Rock Desert to participate in the largest libertarian/page festival in the world, Burning Man, her adventures made the experiences brought to her writing much broader than her Southern childhood. The Mistress built a readership of 100,000 while publishing a newspaper, The Arkansas Free Press, with column titles that always intrigued and content that never lacked an element of surprise. Presenting taboo topics such as "Why I love Black People," "Faith-Based Sadomasochism," "I Was Born for Lithium," "Why are We Afraid of Dildos Attacking our Children?", "Could a Condom a Day Keep Pornography Off Your Hard Drive?" and "What if Women Hadn't Worn Earth Shoes?". This reader contains a collection of her columns and stories printed from 1998 through 2008 with an original, never before in print short story about the 1999 lawsuit against the Freep by then Governor Mike Huckabee. This is Arkansas history as captured from the wildly imaginative Mistress of the Misunderstood.
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A Guide for Misfits by Alyssa Jenkins for the Lovely County Citizen When Dotty Oliver started the Little Rock Free Press in 1993 (which later became the Arkansas Free Press in 1999 after being sued by then Gov. Mike Huckabee), she was a single mom with no money and a seemingly impossible dream: to create a public forum "for the rest of us." Stripped of pretense and profit motivation, the Free Press quickly became a bastion for Arkansas' vibrant counterculture. Even now, 16 years later, the recently deceased "Freep" is still synonymous with the great American ideals it always embodied -- life, liberty, and (perhaps especially) the pursuit of happiness. Oliver's new book, Mistress of the Misunderstood, is a collection of editorial columns and short stories from her years at the Free Press with a new story about the infamous lawsuit by then Gov. Huckabee. Often hilarious and always irreverent, each page is an exciting glimpse into the mind of one of Arkansas' most notorious characters. This truly is a book for everyone, from hippies to hookers to historians. With descriptions like "Gloria Steinem meets Hunter S. Thompson" and comparisons to Mark Twain's Roughing It, the "Mistress" is a self-help guide for misfits everywhere. --Love County Citizen
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