Lee Smith (author)

Lee Smith (author)

Lee Smith (born on November 1, 1944) is an American fiction author who typically incorporates much of her home roots in the Southeastern United States in her works of literature. She has received many writing awards, such as the O. Henry award and the Academy Award For Literature. Her recent book The Last Girls was listed on the New York Times bestseller's list.

Early life and education

Lee Smith was born in 1944 in Grundy, Virginia, a small coal-mining town in the Appalachian Mountains, less than 10 miles from the Kentucky border. The Smith home sat on Main Street, and the Levisa Fork River ran just behind it. Her mother, Virginia, was a college graduate who had come to Grundy to teach school.

Growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia, nine-year-old Lee Smith was already writing—and selling, for a nickel apiece—stories about her neighbors in the coal boomtown of Grundy and the nearby isolated "hollers."

After spending her last two years of high school at St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Virginia, Smith enrolled at Hollins College in Roanoke. She and fellow student Annie Dillard (the well-known essayist and novelist) became go-go dancers for an all-girl rock band, the Virginia Woolfs. It was in 1966, during her senior year at Hollins, that Smith's literary career began to take off. She submitted an early draft of a coming-of-age novel to a Book-of-the-Month Club contest and was awarded one of twelve fellowships. Two years later, that novel, "The Last Day the Dog Bushes Bloomed" (Harper & Row, 1968), became Smith's first published work of fiction.

Since 1968, she has published eleven novels, as well as two collections of short stories, and has received eight major writing awards.


Following her graduation from Hollins, Smith married a poet and teacher, whom she accompanied from university to university as his teaching assignments changed. She kept busy writing reviews for local papers and raising two little boys, but found little time for her own fiction. By 1971, though, she'd completed her second novel, "Something in the Wind", which garnered generally favorable reviews. But her next novel, "Fancy Strut" (1973), was widely praised by critics as a comic masterpiece.

In 1974 Smith and her family moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she finished "Black Mountain Breakdown" (1981), a much darker work than her readers had come to expect. Next she turned her attention to short stories, for which she won O. Henry Awards in 1978 and 1980. Smith published her first collection of short stories "Cakewalk" in 1981. It was also about this time that her marriage broke up, and she accepted a teaching job at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where she teaches today. In 1983 her fifth novel, "Oral History", became a Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection, exposing Smith for the first time to a wide national audience. In 1985 she published "Family Linen" and married journalist Hal Crowther, to whom she dedicated the new book.

Since then, Smith has published "Fair and Tender Ladies" (1988) and "Me and My Baby View the Eclipse" (1990), her second book of short stories. In 1992 she published "The Devil's Dream", a generational saga about a family of country musicians; in 1995 her ninth novel, "Saving Grace", and in 1996 the novella "The Christmas Letters", her eleventh work of fiction. "News of the Spirit", a collection of stories and novellas was published in 1997. She published New York Times Bestseller "The Last Girls" in 2002. "On Agate Hill", her most recent book, is in the style of the nineteenth century epistolary novel and is set in the South during the Reconstruction.

Lee Smith currently lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina and Jefferson, NC. Her latest novel, "On Agate Hill", contains some characters based upon historical people from the Burwell School, an early female boarding school. The Burwell School is now run as a historic site and is located near Lee's own house in Hillsborough.

External links

* [http://www.leesmith.com/ Lee Smith - the official author website]
* [http://www.burwellschool.org/resources/OnAgateHill.php The Burwell School Historic Site]
* [http://www.librarything.com/author/smithlee LibraryThing author profile]
* [http://www.readthehook.com/stories/2007/03/22/HOTSEAT-smith-B.rtf.aspx "Obsessive love: Lee Smith happy to be back in town"] article in the Hook weekly

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lee - получить на Академике рабочий купон на скидку Вотоня или выгодно lee купить с бесплатной доставкой на распродаже в Вотоня

  • Lee Smith — may refer to:* Lee Smith (author) (born 1944), American author * Lee Smith (baseball) (born 1957), American pitcher * Lee Smith (editor), edited the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World * Lee Smith (musician) (born 1983), American …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Smith (baseball) — Infobox MLB retired name=Lee Smith width=250px position=Relief Pitcher bats=Right throws=Right birthdate=birth date and age|1957|12|4 city state|Shreveport|Louisiana debutdate=September 1 debutyear=by|1980 debutteam=Chicago Cubs finaldate=July 2… …   Wikipedia

  • Emma Smith (author) — Emma Smith (1923 ) is an English novelist who briefly rose to literary fame in the 1940s before fading away into obscurity. Early life and fameEmma Smith was born in Cornwall in 1923. She was educated privately up to the age of 16, when she… …   Wikipedia

  • Lauren Lee Smith — Infobox actor name = Lauren Lee Smith caption = Emma deLauro played by Lauren Lee Smith birthdate = June 19, 1980 birthplace = Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaLauren Lee Smith (born June 19, 1980) is a Canadian actress. Smith was born in… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Child — Infobox Writer name = Lee Child |thumb|right|Lee Child imagesize = caption = Lee Child pseudonym = birthdate = 1954 birthplace = Coventry, England deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Novelist, Writer, Author nationality = British period = 1995… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee & Low Books — Founded 1991 Founder Philip Lee and Tom Low Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Mortimer — (1904 ndash;March 1, 1963), an American newspaper columnist, radio commentator, crime lecturer, night club show producer, and author. He was born Mortimer Lieberman in Chicago, but was best known by the pen name he adopted as a young newspaper… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Caplin — is founder and chairman of Picture Entertainment Corporation (http://www.pictureentertainment.com/), a motion picture, television and theatrical production company that Executive Produced the Sony Columbia Pictures $115 million feature film Ali …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Harvey Oswald — This article is about the life of Lee Harvey Oswald. For discussion of Oswald and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, see Assassination of John F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. Lee Harvey Oswald Lee Harvey… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee Strobel — Infobox Writer imagesize = 150px name = Lee Strobel caption = pseudonym = birthdate = birthplace = deathdate = deathplace = occupation = Writer nationality = United States period = Current genre = Religion subject = Christian apologetics movement …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.