On her website, Lee Smith confesses, "Although I don't usually write autobiographical fiction, my main character in one of the short stories from News of the Spirit sounds suspiciously like the girl I used to be: 'More than anything else in the world, I wanted to be a writer. I didn't want to learn to write, of course. I just wanted to be a writer, and I often pictured myself poised at the foggy edge of a cliff somewhere in the south of France, wearing a cape, drawing furiously on a long cigarette, hollow-cheeked and haunted. I had been romantically dedicated to the grand idea of 'being a writer' ever since I can remember.'" Yes, you will find that on page 2 of this book! The August/September issue of Garden and Gun includes an article entitled, "Lee Smith: Great Southern Storyteller." She is such a good storyteller that sometimes the wisdom contained in her stories takes you by surprise. Lee Smith, now in her seventies, still comes across like a teen-aged cheerleader! She is loud, engaging, enthusiastic, and very personable. Lee Smith grew up in Grundy, Virginia, in the coal fields. She published her first novel while still a student at Hollins College near Roanoke where she was room-mates with Annie Dillard - who later earned a Pulitzer for her book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. In 1974, she, her first husband, and their two boys moved to Chapel Hill, and she began to focus on writing set in the mountains where she was raised. She has published 13 novels, a memoir, and four collections of short stories, like this book.
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1997. 267 pages. Hardback in dust jacket.