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The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed by Lee Smith

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This novel was published in 1968 by Harper and Row, a leading New York publisher, when Lee Smith was an undergraduate at Hollins College! In her book of autobiographical essays, Lee writes, "its main character was a weird little nine-year-old girl named Susan, much like the very same nine-year-old girl we have just been talking about." The dogbushes made a kind of a secret fort in the woods where the protagonist often lingered. Lee's parents were upset and annoyed by the book and tried to prevent anyone in her hometown of Grundy, Virginia, from knowing about it because one of Susan's fictional parents was having an affair. The author, Lee Smith, is still writing novels and is recognized as a leading contemporary Appalachian writers. See my write-ups of her other books for more about her, if you wish.

New York: Harper & Row, 1968. 180 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.