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Lee Smith is a "teller of tales for tale tellers to admire and envy . . . [and] a reader’s dream" (Houston Chronicle). A celebrated and bestselling writer with a dozen novels under her name, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and The Last Girls, she is just as widely recognized for her exceptional short stories. Here, in Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, Smith collects seven brand-new stories along with seven of her favorites from three earlier collections. The result? A book of dazzling richness. As the New York Times Book Review put it, "In al- most every one of [her stories] there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent."
Born in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and, most recently, Guests on Earth. She has received many awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband, the writer Hal Crowther. Visit her at www.leesmith.com.
"Smith's heroines find strength in the moments that push us all forward." --People magazine
— People Magazine
"Smith's character-driven tales are funny, touching, and resonant, with a quirky honesty. A southern-fried charmer!" --Family Circle
— Family Circle
"Smith also has a soft spot for incorrigibles like the dyspeptic ex-writer of "House Tour," who resists playing reindeer games with the local philistines at Christmas, or the former teacher in "The Happy Memories Club," who refuses to placate an amateur writing group that appears to prefer its fare upbeat and scrubby-clean. Smith's book, you suspect, is the one those club members would sneak under their bedcovers to read by penlight." --New York Times Book Review
— New York Times Book Review
"Like Chekhov, Smith can lay out a world of social and personal connections in a few pages. Her new collection, mingling seven previously published short stories with seven new pieces, offers a marvelous panorama of Smith's achievement over four decades. It's funny, shrewd and heartbreaking--often all three at once." --AARP The Magazine
— AARP The Magazine
“Lee Smith has long had a reputation as a master of the short story, and her new collection . . . galvanizes that reputation . . . Smith offers the grit of the domestic scene, the power of the written word, and the transcendent beauty of women as friends, lovers, daughters and mothers.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A marvelous panorama of Smith’s achievement over four decades. It’s funny, shrewd, and heartbreaking—often all three at once.” —AARP magazine
“Smith’s character-driven tales are funny, touching and resonant, with a quirky honesty. A southern-fried charmer!” —Family Circle
“Smith’s heroines find strength in the moments that push us all forward.” —People, four stars