book cover of News of the Spirit
Added by 1 of our members

News of the Spirit

(1997)
A collection of stories by

 
 
The warmhearted Southern women who narrate Lee Smith's latest collection of short stories share oddball sensibilities and an irrepressible urge to tell all. In fact, they are the friendliest, most garrulous bunch of liars, posers, and voyeurs you ever met. Although the young narrator in "Live Bottomless" habitually bicycles around town and peeks in windows, for instance, she feels little guilt about it. Instead, she congratulates herself for being such a go-getter: "It was amazing what you could see, especially if you were an athletic and enterprising girl such as myself." There is something very likeable about the young girl's optimism in the face of the sadness she witnesses at home and all across town.

Elsewhere, Smith explores the uses of storytelling itself. In the book's first piece, a college freshman tells her sorority sisters that she has a wild brother named Bubba just to make her life seem more exciting. It works, and lying becomes one of the aspiring writer's favorite pastimes. In "The Happy Memories Club," an old woman in a nursing home joins a writing group and shares the grim stories of her youth with the other members, shocking them. The stories don't make the old woman sad--in fact, reciting them seems to sustain her at a time when her health is declining rapidly. Lee Smith's stories are light but infectious, the kind of literary confections it's tempting to consume a handful at a time. Fans of Ellen Gilchrist and Bobbie Ann Mason are likely to enjoy these tales of strong, occasionally tipsy women and their wild, wild families. --Jill Marquis

Genre: Literary Fiction

Used availability for Lee Smith's News of the Spirit

Hardback Editions

June 1997 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: News of the Spirit
Author(s): Lee Smith
ISBN: 0-399-14281-9 / 978-0-399-14281-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 2012 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: News of the Spirit
Author(s): Lee Smith
ISBN: 0-425-24768-6 / 978-0-425-24768-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1998 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: News of the Spirit (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Author(s): Lee Smith
ISBN: 0-449-00226-8 / 978-0-449-00226-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

July 2012 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: News of the Spirit
Author(s): Lee Smith
Publisher: Berkley
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA