News of the Spirit

News of the Spirit

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by Lee Smith
     
 

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In "Live Bottomless," thirteen-year-old Jenny tells the painful and hilarious tale of her philandering father's fall from grace and the family's subsequent trip to Keys West as her parents attempt a "geographical cure" for their troubled marriage. In "The Southern Cross," Chanel, a girl of easy virtue and dubious reputation, chronicles her cruise around the Caribbean…  See more details below

Overview

In "Live Bottomless," thirteen-year-old Jenny tells the painful and hilarious tale of her philandering father's fall from grace and the family's subsequent trip to Keys West as her parents attempt a "geographical cure" for their troubled marriage. In "The Southern Cross," Chanel, a girl of easy virtue and dubious reputation, chronicles her cruise around the Caribbean with three Atlanta developers. "I may be old, but I'm not dead," begins Alice Scully, scandalizing her retirement-home writers' group in "The Happy Memories Club." And prim, old-maid Sarah is titillated by the housekeeper's horrific account of her daughter's "blue wedding." In "The Bubba Stories," Charlene Christian explains, "I made Bubba up in the spring of 1963 in order to increase my popularity with my girlfriends"; but this legendary brother takes on a life of his own. Paula's damaged brother Johnny, in the title story, is "writing a new kind of book," constructing another narrative of his tragic life. Brothers, sisters, and friends appear in these stories as the narrators' other selves, offering other possibilities. Here we have news of the spirit, indeed: stories about longing and despair and imagination and grace, about love in all its strange and shifting forms.

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Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Whack-a-Mole!

"In 1958, when my father had his famous affair with Carroll Byrd, I knew it before anybody. I don't know how long he'd been having the affair before I found out about it -- or, to be exact, before I realized it. Before it came over me. One day I was riding my bike all over town the way I always did, and the next I was riding my bike all over town knowing it, and this gave an extra depth, a heightened dimension and color, to everything. Before, I'd just been any old thirteen-year-old girl on a bike. Now, I was a girl whose father was having an affair -- a tragic girl, a dramatic girl. A girl with a burning secret. Everything was different."
--from "Live Bottomless," by Lee Smith

Lee Smith is in Key West with her husband, on a week's vacation after the book tour for her collection of short stories, News of the Spirit. "There's this terrible game at county fairs called 'Whack-a-Mole,'" she says to me on the phone, in that delightful quick-to-laugh southern-sugared voice. "Do you know it?"

Can't say as I do.

"It involves a big hammer," she says, "and a big painted board full of round holes from which mole puppets erratically appear. To win, you must keep smacking down the moles.

"I always feel like that about my writing," she says. "Things come popping up -- stories and scenes, places and ideas -- and I think, No, not yet, and I keep hitting it and making it go down."

Smith is a writer with a seemingly endless supply of moles to whack -- she is filled with funny and unruly stories, all competing for her attention along with various other, heartfelt distractions. There are book tours, which at this stage in a career that includes 12 preternaturally readable books (nine novels, three story collections), she says, feel like a series of "little family reunions" in the bookstores that have supported her. "I'm a writer who writes about things that people in New York, the marketing people anyway, don't think can sell. Country music, for instance.

"My last novel [Saving Grace] was about Baptist fundamentalist snake-handlers." She laughs. It is the contagious laugh of an ideal friend. "I owe a lot to the people in those bookstores," she says, "who for years have come out to my readings and bought my book, enough that I keep getting to publish the next one."

There's also the heartfelt distraction of her teaching schedule at North Carolina State, where Smith typically puts as much work into her students' work as she does her own. "It can be exhausting," she says, "but I really love to teach. I love the contact with people who are so bright and so eager and still all fired up about writers and writing."

There are also the adult literacy classes in eastern Kentucky that, in the past few years, she's volunteered to teach. "For me, it brought back the whole thrill of reading and writing," she says.

But all mole-bashing aside, maybe the biggest challenge is knowing when a story is ready to be written, something that Smith says is more a matter of feeling than intellect.

"'Live Bottomless' was a story that for years I knew I was going to write," she says of the sharply observed coming-of-age novella that, literally and figuratively, is the heart of News of the Spirit. "I really did come down here to Key West with my parents, when they were trying to patch up their marriage. My mother and I really did see them filming 'Operation Petticoat' -- Tony Curtis and Cary Grant and that pink submarine. And the sign for the exotic dancers that said 'Live Bottomless.' And the Blue Marlin Hotel! It's still here! It's hardly changed at all!"

The autobiographical hooks are changed quite a bit however, says Smith, and they are now just the framework of the story.

That long-battered mole of an idea is certainly no worse for the wear.

******

"People tend to think that short stories are things tossed off between bigger things," Smith says. "I was a story writer first. Things always occur to me in story or novella length. There's just about nothing I love more than a story that's about 100 typed pages, that gives you the depth of a novel, where you can get into the characters and see how they change over time, where you can get all the pleasures of a novel without any of the drudgery."

It's a continued puzzlement to me why people who wished they read more but can't seem to find the time tend to spend what time they have more on novels than short stories. Almost invariably, stories are the fastest, best introduction to a writer's work. This is certainly true of Smith.

"Part of what I love about your novels," I say, "is the way they're so often made up of story-length set pieces, from different points of view." The much-imitated Oral History, for example. Or my favorite of all Smith's novels, The Devil's Dream: a lean multigenerational family saga and perhaps the finest fiction ever written about American music.

"That's my favorite of my books!" Smith exclaims, and then she laughs that laugh, and I am so charmed I am about to implode. "I'm so glad you liked it too!"

That book, she says, is another example of her mole-whacking theory.

"I grew up hearing old-time country music," she said. "We all grow up with music that's the soundtrack of our childhood. For me, that was it. I remember sitting out by the lake on a hot summer night, watching fireflies and swatting mosquitoes, and hearing my father's friend take out his guitar and start playing and singing that song, 'The Devil's Dream.' I always knew that I was going to write about that music."

There is a pause. We both think about this scene, Smith as memory, me as a dream she conjured up for me. Finally, Smith laughs.

"I just keep playing the game," she says. We keep talking for a while and somehow we get on to the subject of Elvis. "Elvis!" she says. "There's another mole that I keep whackin'."

—Mark Winegardner

The Barnes & Noble Review
"In 1958, when my father had his famous affair with Carroll Byrd, I knew it before anybody. I don't know how long he'd been having the affair before I found out about it—or, to be exact, before I realized it. Before it came over me. One day I was riding my bike all over town the way I always did, and the next I was riding my bike all over town knowing it, and this gave an extra depth, a heightened dimension and color, to everything. Before, I'd just been any old thirteen-year-old girl on a bike. Now, I was a girl whose father was having an affair—a tragic girl, a dramatic girl. A girl with a burning secret. Everything was different." from "Live Bottomless," by Lee Smith

Lee Smith is in Key West with her husband, on a week's vacation after the book tour for her collection of short stories, "News of the Spirit." "There's this terrible game at county fairs called 'Whack-a-Mole,'" she says to me on the phone, in that delightful quick-to-laugh southern-sugared voice. "Do you know it?"

Can't say as I do.

"It involves a big hammer," she says, "and a big painted board full of round holes from which mole puppets erratically appear. To win, you must keep smacking down the moles.

"I always feel like that about my writing," she says. "Things come popping up—stories and scenes, places and ideas—and I think, No, not yet, and I keep hitting it and making it go down."

Smith is a writer with a seemingly endless supply of moles to whack—she is filled with funny and unruly stories, all competing for her attention alongwith various other, heartfelt distractions. There are book tours, which at this stage in a career that includes 12 preternaturally readable books (nine novels, three story collections), she says, feel like a series of "little family reunions" in the bookstores that have supported her. "I'm a writer who writes about things that people in New York, the marketing people anyway, don't think can sell. Country music, for instance.

"My last novel ["Saving Grace"] was about Baptist fundamentalist snake-handlers." She laughs. It is the contagious laugh of an ideal friend. "I owe a lot to the people in those bookstores," she says, "who for years have come out to my readings and bought my book, enough that I keep getting to publish the next one."

There's also the heartfelt distraction of her teaching schedule at North Carolina State, where Smith typically puts as much work into her students' work as she does her own. "It can be exhausting," she says, "but I really love to teach. I love the contact with people who are so bright and so eager and still all fired up about writers and writing."

There are also the adult literacy classes in eastern Kentucky that, in the past few years, she's volunteered to teach. "For me, it brought back the whole thrill of reading and writing," she says.

But all mole-bashing aside, maybe the biggest challenge is knowing when a story is ready to be written, something that Smith says is more a matter of feeling than intellect.

"'Live Bottomless' was a story that for years I knew I was going to write," she says of the sharply observed coming-of-age novella that, literally and figuratively, is the heart of "News of the Spirit." "I really did come down here to Key West with my parents, when they were trying to patch up their marriage. My mother and I really did see them filming 'Operation Petticoat'—Tony Curtis and Cary Grant and that pink submarine. And the sign for the exotic dancers that said 'Live Bottomless.' And the Blue Marlin Hotel! It's still here! It's hardly changed at all!"

The autobiographical hooks are changed quite a bit however, says Smith, and they are now just the framework of the story.

That long-battered mole of an idea is certainly no worse for the wear.

"People tend to think that short stories are things tossed off between bigger things," Smith says. "I was a story writer first. Things always occur to me in story or novella length. There's just about nothing I love more than a story that's about 100 typed pages, that gives you the depth of a novel, where you can get into the characters and see how they change over time, where you can get all the pleasures of a novel without any of the drudgery."

It's a continued puzzlement to me why people who wished they read more but can't seem to find the time tend to spend what time they have more on novels than short stories. Almost invariably, stories are the fastest, best introduction to a writer's work. This is certainly true of Smith.

"Part of what I love about your novels," I say, "is the way they're so often made up of story-length set pieces, from different points of view." The much-imitated "Oral History," for example. Or my favorite of all Smith's novels, "The Devil's Dream" a lean multigenerational family saga and perhaps the finest fiction ever written about American music.

"That's my favorite of my books!" Smith exclaims, and then she laughs that laugh, and I am so charmed I am about to implode. "I'm so glad you liked it too!"

That book, she says, is another example of her mole-whacking theory.

"I grew up hearing old-time country music," she said. "We all grow up with music that's the soundtrack of our childhood. For me, that was it. I remember sitting out by the lake on a hot summer night, watching fireflies and swatting mosquitoes, and hearing my father's friend take out his guitar and start playing and singing that song, 'The Devil's Dream.' I always knew that I was going to write about that music."

There is a pause. We both think about this scene, Smith as memory, me as a dream she conjured up for me. Finally, Smith laughs.,br>

"I just keep playing the game," she says. We keep talking for a while and somehow we get on to the subject of Elvis. "Elvis!" she says. "There's another mole that I keep whackin'."—Mark Winegardner

Katherine Whittamore

At her best, she sounds like Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird) grown up, at her worst a more-cute-than-usual Fannie Flagg. Lee Smith is Virginia-born. She was raised in the mountains where the words "story" and "lie" are interchangeable; her first yarn, at age 8, chronicled the romance between Adlai Stevenson and Jane Russell. Smith also has a fine ear for things Southern. In "News of the Spirit," one of the six longish stories in this collection, a fussy aunt threatens her niece by "putting the quietus" on her. Afternoons are hotter "than the hinges of hell." Girls wear bracelets made of frat pins, are elected Miss Bright Leaf Tobacco and exclaim "Pearl Harbor!" when they're cornered. Mamas discuss whether Dinah Shore really has "negro blood."

The best story is "Live Bottomless," in which a humid adolescent named Jenny watches in horror and sympathy as her parents' marriage swirls apart. Eventually the three travel to Key West for "a geographical cure." But first, Jenny is hustled off to the quietus-putting aunt's house, a place awash in piqué jackets for the Mixmaster and crocheted skirts around the Jergens lotion bottle. It's a Very Christian household: "[Jesus] apparently prized neatness, cleanliness and order above all things; I imagined that the plastic runners on the living room carpet and the cellophane covers on all the lampshades were His idea."

Less successful is "The Bubba Stories," in which a coed makes up a fictional brother to render her life more colorful. Smith is trying for picaresque, but the proceedings seem too cloying by half. The title story is another brother tale (he's real this time, and has been in and out of mental institutions). But unlike "Bubba," "News of the Spirit" has a sense of insight, a welcome spareness. Think Raymond Carver if he liked adjectives. No lie. -- Salon

San Francisco Chronicle
These stories capture the flavor of the South....After ten novels and three collections, Smith has become a master at coupling tragedy and humor.
NY Times Book Review
Her best stories are guilty pleasures...Lyrical and moving.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Many of the Southern women in Smith's latest collection of short fiction (following the novels Saving Grace and The Christmas Letters) view storytelling as a means of survival. In prose that's direct and simple, by turns bitterly funny and lyrical, Smith inhabits the voices of women young and old as they try to muddle through the chaos of their lives. In two coming-of-age stories, "The Bubba Stories" and "Live Bottomless," college student Charlene and 13-year-old Jenny portray themselves and their worlds (mid-1960s collegiate life and late '50s suburbia, respectively) with steely humor and an unrelenting eye. For these two aspiring writer types, storytelling and identity are deeply intertwined. The same goes for the long-estranged twins, Paula and Johnny, of the title story, who find that the deep connection between them has its origins in the storytelling and make-believe play of their childhood. And in "The Happy Memories Club," a moribund nursing home resident finds that writing down her life story is the only way she can recover the acerbic but passionate self she's repressed for so long. Smith excels at creating characters somewhat boggled by the reality of who they've becomeby their lovers and homes, their jobs and their cars, haircuts and bodiesand who, consequently, feel a pressing need to explain themselves to themselves. One thing they never doubt is the correctness of their opinions, especially concerning the proper standards of behavior for a Southern lady, and the failings of "white trash." Smith's humor is pointed but gentle; her characters may be priggish and narrow-minded, but they are never mean. These five narratives are packed with period details (one family has a bomb shelter, a typical 1950s phenomenon) and social observations (the time when wearing blue jeans "meant you were poor") that unobtrusively propel and add texture to the story lines. Such obsession with detail makes Smith's heroines both distinctively Southern and universally feminine. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The "Southernness" of the South, especially for women, is the overriding thematic impression one comes away with after reading this engaging collection of short stories. Set in various Southern towns in time periods ranging from the Fifties to the present, they present female protagonists alternately struggling against and reinforcing the confines of their lives in restrictive Southern communities. This is not a new theme, of course, and at times the characters themselves are close to stereotypethe pampered Southern belle, the gold-digging bimbo, the romantic young girl with the burning visions of escape. Still, Smith (The Christmas Letters, LJ 9/1/96) somehow manages to transcend the limitations of her characters and make them real human beings. The best story, however, "The Happy Memories Club," is about a true mold-breaker: an elderly woman who stubbornly refuses to accept society's notions of what a nursing-home resident should be and do. Filled with humor and those marvelous details of Southern life that any native will recognize, this work is definitely a worthwhile purchase for Southern fiction collections.Kay Hogan, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
Kirkus Reviews
All six of the stories in Smith's third collection (Cakewalk: Me and My Baby View the Eclipse) have been previously published, so serious students of southern fiction will find much that's familiar here, though none the less enjoyable. Smith writes affectionately of the small social distinctions between working-class and middle-class southerners. Often at the center of her stories is a woman with odd notions or airs, of which she must be disabused, and her chatty narrators embrace a populace of lovable eccentrics. Smith's clearest aesthetic statement here surfaces in 'The Happy Memories Club,' which concerns an old-age home resident's feisty refusal to render her past through rose-colored glasses—the way everyone else in her writing group does. 'The Bubba Stories' also focuses on the creation of fiction. But in this case it's a reverse parable: A scholarship student at a fancy girl's college invents a more glamorous life for herself, yet doesn't discover her voice as a writer until she turns to what she knows best—her ordinary family. The prissy, spinsterish narrator of 'Blue Wedding' returns to her small-town home to settle her father's estate and finds herself loosening up with some iced tea and vodka. The long novella, 'Live Bottomless,' offers a young girl's perspective on her parents' troubled marriage. After her father leaves his skittish wife for a local artist, the narrator must live with her fundamentalist relatives. But her parents give it another chance on a month-long trip to Key West, where the filming of a Hollywood movie seems to bring just the right level of romance back into their marriage. The equally long 'News of the Spirit' unites along-estranged brother and sister—he a druggie and dropout; she a bit odd herself and stalled in the unmarried state. Their wild reunion frees her from her long-held guilt concerning her troubled brother. As always, lively, salty, and inviting.

From the Publisher
“Outstanding…Marvelous…Utterly enjoyable…One of the finest collections of short prose I’ve read since Bobbie Ann Mason.”

“These stories capture the flavor of the South…With clever prose in ‘Blue Wedding,’ she is able to convey the poetic chatter of Southern voices that separates one class from another…Complex characters and surprising plot twists appear in the captivating ‘Live Bottomless.’ Smith has become a master at coupling tragedy and humor.”

“Smith’s watchful, bright…heroines read true. [She] is terrific at creating fresh, evocative, and absolutely right voices in these stories. She can move between the breathless and innocent self-creation of the college student in ‘The Bubba Stories’ to the brittle self-delusion of the professional ‘fiancée’ in ‘The Southern Cross’ with sympathy and understanding.”

“Reading Lee Smith is like coming home again, to find everything as you remembered.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449002261
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/12/1998
Series:
Ballantine Reader's Circle Series
Edition description:
Reprinted Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.03(h) x 0.65(d)

Read an Excerpt


"How old is Sean?" Sarah asks.

"Nineteen," says Gladiola. "So anyway, they get all moved in together, and the wedding is set for two months off, and then Roxanne signs up for that nursing program at Mountain Tech. You know she was always so smart."

Sarah nods. Too smart for her own good, is what Sarah thinks.

"Well, this is when the trouble really starts." Gladiola lights another cigarette. "Sean's a real jealous person, it turns out. He can't stand for her to go anyplace without him, and he especially can't stand for her to drive off anyplace in the car without him. He gets downright peculiar about that car. So anyway, on the day that Roxanne has to register over at Mountain Tech, there's a big thunderstorm, and the computers go down. So it takes her forever to get registered, and it's nearabout dark when she gets back to the trailer."

"Can I have one of those?" Sarah reaches for Gladiola's pack of Salems.

Gladiola nods absently. "All I can say is that Sean Skeens went temporarily insane because she was over at Mountain Tech so long. Why, as soon as she pulled up in the road, he came busting out of that trailer hollering all this crazy stuff about Roxanne going off in the car to see other men, and such as that, and then you won't believe what he did next!"

"What?" The nicotine is making Sarah feel high, dizzy.

"He picks up this two-by-four that was laying right there, that they were fixing to build a deck with onto the trailer, see, they had them a big pile of treated lumber that they got on sale from Wal-Mart, and Sean's brother was going to help them build the deck."

Sarah leans back in the rocker and shuts her eyes. Itcrosses her mind that Gladiola is trying to drive her crazy. "Go on," she says. She blows smoke in the air.

"Well, Sean Skeens proceeds to lay into that car something terrible. He busted ever window clean out, he was so mad, and then started in on the dash."

Sarah sits bolt upright. "But that's terrible! What did Roxanne do?"

Gladiola is putting things back into the refrigerator now. "I'm ashamed to own it," she says, "but Roxanne picks up this other two-by-four and hits Sean Skeens right upside the head, just as hard as she can."

"Good heavens!" Sarah is suddenly, horribly agitated. She feels like she has to go to the bathroom. Instead she reaches for another cigarette.

"Yes ma'am. Broke his nose and one cheekbone and some little bone right up here." Gladiola points to her eyebrow. "I forget what you call it. Anyway, blood went all over the place, it was the biggest mess. Now they've got Sean Skeens wired up till he can't eat no solid food, he can't have nothing but milk shakes. He's still in the hospital. His mother has gone and charged Roxanne with assault and battery, and Roxanne has charged Sean with destruction of personal property. I tried to talk her out of it, I said, `You'll have to pay that lawyer out of your own pocket,' but you
know how she is."

"So what happened then?"

"Nothing yet. They're all going to court next week." Gladiola wipes off the kitchen counters and spreads her dishrag on the sink to dry.

"And the wedding is off?" Sarah feels an overwhelming sense of loss.

"You're damn right!" Gladiola says. "They was too young to marry in the first place. Plus they was too crazy about each other, if you know what I mean. They would of wore each other out or killed each other, or killed somebody else. It wasn't no way they could of stayed together."

The front doorbell rings and Gladiola goes to answer it, leaving Sarah alone in the kitchen, where she rocks back and forth slightly, hugging herself. Sarah feels like she is hovering over her whole life in this rocking chair, she feels way high up, like a hummingbird. It occurs to her that the change of life might not be so bad. No change of life might be worse.

"What is it?" She struggles to her feet.

Everett Sharp has to repeat himself.

"I do hope I haven't come at a bad time," he says, "although no time is good, in such a season of sorrow. I just wanted to thank you for your business and tell you I hope that everything met with your standards. I guess we probably do things different up here in the mountains...." Everett Sharp trails off, looking at her. He has to look down, he's such a tall man; this makes Sarah feel small, a feeling she likes.

"Sally Woodall," he says suddenly, with a catch in his voice. "Aren't you Sally Woodall? From high school?"

And then Sarah realizes he didn't know who she was at all, not really, he hadn't even connected her with her teenage self of so many years before. Everett Sharp moves closer, staring at her. His long white bony arms poke out of his short white shirtsleeves; his forearms are covered with thick red hair. Sarah feels so hot and dizzy she's afraid she might pass out.

"My wife died last year," Everett Sharp says. "I married Betty Robinson, you might remember her. She was in the band."

Sarah nods.

"Clarinet," says Everett Sharp. Then he says, "Why don't I take you out to dinner tonight? It might do you good to get out some. They've got a seafood buffet on Fridays now, at the Holiday Inn on the interstate."

"All right," Sarah says, but she can't take in much of what happens after that. Everett Sharp soon leaves. It's so hot. Gladiola leaves. It's so hot. Sarah takes a notion to look for her father's vodka, which she finally finds in the filing cabinet in his study. She pours some into her iced tea and goes out on the porch, hoping for a breeze. She sits in the old glider and stares into the shady backyard, planning her outfit for tonight. Certainly not the beige linen suit she's worn practically ever since she got here. Maybe the blue sheath with the bolero jacket, maybe the floral two-piece with the scoop neck and the flared skirt. Yes! And those red pumps she bought on sale at Montaldo's last month and hasn't even worn yet, it's a good thing she just happened to throw them into her traveling bag. This strikes her as fortuitous, an omen. She sips her drink. The glider trembles on the edge of the afternoon.

Then Sarah remembers something that happened years ago, she couldn't have been more than seven or eight. Oddly enough, she was sitting right here on this glider, watching her parents, who sat out on the curly wrought-iron chairs beneath the big tree drinking cocktails, as they did every evening. Sarah was the kind of little girl who sat quietly, and noticed things. Actually she spied on people. Her mama and her daddy were leaning forward, all dressed up.

Mama's dress is white. It glows in the dark. Lightning bugs rise from the grass all around, katydids sing, frogs croak down by the creek. Sally has already had her supper. She wants to go back inside to play paper dolls, but something holds her there on the porch, still watching Mama and Daddy as they start to argue (jerky, scary movements, voices raised), and then as they stand, and then as Daddy kicks over the table, moving toward Mama to kiss her long and hard in the humming dark. Daddy puts his hands on Mama's dress.

The force of this memory sends Sarah back inside for another iced tea and vodka, and then she decides to count the napkins and place mats, and then she has another iced tea and vodka, and then she realizes it's time to get ready for her dinner date, but before she's through dressing she realizes she'd better go through the whole upstairs linen closet just to see what's in there, so she's not ready, not at all, not by a long shot, when Everett Sharp calls for her at seven, as he said.

He rings the front doorbell, then waits. He rings again. He doesn't know!--he couldn't even imagine!-that Sarah is right on the other side of the heavy door, not even a foot away from him, where she now sits propped up against it like a rag doll, her satin slip shining in the gloom of the dark hallway, with her fingers pressed over her mouth so she won't laugh out loud to think how she's fooled him, or start crying to think--as she will, again and again and again--how Sean must have felt when his very bones cracked and the red blood poured down the side of his face, or how she must have felt, hitting him.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Reading Lee Smith is like coming home again, to find everything as you remembered.”

Meet the Author

Lee Smith was born in Grundy, VA. She is author of ten novels and four story collections.She is a winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, and member of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

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News of the Spirit 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So neat felles like i am there!!!!;)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found that "News of The Spirit" was a great collection of stories. I had never heard of Lee Smith before a certain writing assignment was given to me by my Advanced Placement English teacher. I was assigned to find a novel by Lee Smith in the library at my high school and do a literary analysis on one of the short stories from this particular book. I read "The Happy Memories Club" and I loved it. That elderly woman reminded me of my great-grandmother who is now 99 years old and still acts as a 20 year old. I simply loved it and I think that Lee Smith is a great author and I've come to this conclusion by only reading one of her novels! There's no telling what I'll think when I read more of them!