Lee Smith's picture

Lee Smith

USA flag (b.1944)

Lee Smith is the author of eleven novels, including Oral History, Saving Grace, The Devil's Dream, and Fair and Tender Ladies, plus three collections of short stories. Her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as a winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. A retired professor of English at North Carolina State University, Lee received an Academy Award in Fiction from American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999. Her new novel On Agate Hill was published in October 2006.
Anthology series
Conjunctions (with Martine Bellen and Bradford Morrow)
   29. Tributes (1997)
Non fiction
   Dimestore (2016)
Lee Smith recommends
Hello to the Cannibals (2002)
Richard Bausch
"One of America's finest writers... Hello to the Cannibals is a wise, brilliant, expansive novel, a fiercely original love story as big as the world."
The Piano Teacher (2004)
Lynn York
"Eudora Welty meets Miss Marple in this sweet, sexy Southern tour de force."
The Last Summer of Her Other Life (2009)
Jean Reynolds Page
"Jean Reynolds Page knows how to hold the reader riveted."
Dogs (2010)
Abigail DeWitt
"...a brilliant and thought-provoking novel from the extravagantly talented Abigail DeWitt."
Butterfly's Child (2011)
Angela Davis-Gardner
"Angela Davis-Gardner has created an enchantment."
The Dry Grass of August (2011)
Anna Jean Mayhew
"I read this book straight through."
A Different Sun (2013)
Elaine Neil Orr
"As lyrical and passionate a novel as has ever been written."
Fate Moreland's Widow (2015)
John Lane
"John Lane has written a crackerjack page-turner that brings the whole violent and complicated struggle of the southern textile mills to brilliant, blazing life."
The Promise Between Us (2018)
Barbara Claypole White
"Barbara Claypole White does not merely write about people with mental illness—she inhabits them; she IS Katelyn, the young mother overcome with images of killing her new baby, the mother who leaves her baby to keep her safe…Later White IS that same child, Maisie, now beginning to struggle with OCD herself—and all Maisie’s worries, all her thoughts and the details of her pre-teen life are precisely, exactly right. Perfect. White knows how to tell a story, too, how to fully create each additional realistic and fascinating character, and also how to increase suspense as the family drama unfolds. This brilliant novel about obsessive compulsive disorder is compulsively readable."
Women in Sunlight (2018)
Frances Mayes
"Frances Mayes has outdone herself. The writing is gorgeous, the structure grand and formidable, just like the architecture she writes about so well. I feel like I have lived in Italy. But most of all, I feel like these women--and their men, and children--are still walking around in my mind."
Southernmost (2018)
Silas House
"A spiritual journey, a love story, and a classic road novel . . . With its themes of acceptance and equality, Southernmost holds a special meaning for America right now, with relevance even beyond its memorable story."
The View From Here (2018)
Lynne Hinton
"Lynne Hinton is a born storyteller, here at the top of her form, writing with compassion and understanding."
When These Mountains Burn (2020)
David Joy
"Revelatory . . . Indelible characters from every side of the law converge in this fast-moving story. As fine a piece of writing as you are ever likely to encounter."
Even As We Breathe (2020)
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
"Debut writer Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle lifts the curtain to show us a South we don't know, revealed through the struggles of Cowney Sequoyah, a young man growing up within the Cherokee Nation of far Western North Carolina, and yet another surprise setting when he takes a job at Asheville's fabled Grove Park Inn while it is being used by the US military as a place of internment for Axis prisoners of war during World War II. Even As We Breathe is a wonderful novel, complicated as life itself - thrilling, mysterious, and finally, a revelation!"
The Baddest Girl on the Planet (2021)
Heather Frese
"Heather Frese has written a coming-of-age story like no other-with a fiercely original narrative voice that's funny, brave, honest, and occasionally terrifying . . . in fact, compulsively readable!"
The Tender Grave (2021)
Sheri Reynolds
"Sheri Reynolds is an essential voice from the American South-rich, haunting, courageous, big, and true."
Double Solitaire (2021)
(Quinn Farrell, book 1)
Craig Nova
"Craig Nova has really done it this time. He hooked me in the first paragraph and reeled me in on page nine. Writing with great style and economy, a master of dialogue and suspense, Nova plumbs the depths of the human psyche. Menace and heartbreak walk hand in hand through these swift pages. I'll take another trip with Quinn Farrell anytime."

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