Oral History

Oral History

3.7 9
by Lee Smith
     
 

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"Delightful and entertaining."PEOPLEWhen Jennifer, a college student, returns to her childhood home of Hoot Owl Holler with a tape recorder, the tales of murder and suicide, incest and blood ties, bring to life a vibrant story of a doomed family that still refuses to give up...."Deft and assured....[Lee Smith] is nothing less than masterly."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK…  See more details below

Overview

"Delightful and entertaining."PEOPLEWhen Jennifer, a college student, returns to her childhood home of Hoot Owl Holler with a tape recorder, the tales of murder and suicide, incest and blood ties, bring to life a vibrant story of a doomed family that still refuses to give up...."Deft and assured....[Lee Smith] is nothing less than masterly."THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345410283
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Lee Smith was born in Virginia. She is the author of ten novels and four story collections. She lives in North Carolina and Maine.

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Oral History 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
coolworld888 More than 1 year ago
"Oral History" is a novel written by American author Lee Smith, published in 1983 by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York. Later editions of the novel have been published by Ballentine Books in 1984, and again in 1993. The story is about the lives of the Cantrell family, who live in the mountains of Hoot Owl Holler. Through this family, Smith tells the story of her community in Virginia, a story written by a Southerner in the language of Southerners. This work of fiction is considered to be an authentic representation of the voice of the people of Appalachia, a specific region in the southern mountain region of the United States. As Smith grew up in the mountain region of southwestern Virginia, she, through her writing, gives her audience a view of this insular society, with a particular culture that is unique in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This dark and twisted story included precise details needed to shed light into small town, poverty stricken life in the mountains of appalachia. This story sucked me in and I couldn't part from it until I was done, and even then, I carried it around in my mind.
MsMillion More than 1 year ago
I am truly loved digging into this brilliantly complicated and addicting novel.When I read Oral History, I felt like I was sitting on the porch with my mamaw listening to her tell me about the neighbors. Smith's voice is the most genuine "country" vernacular I've read. Thank you for a delightful read.
Elsie_Brooks More than 1 year ago
Oral History tells the story of multiple generations of the Cantrell family through one or more voices of each generation. The story is plain, gripping, and evocative. Lee Smith's words open a view of Appalachia with the surprising honesty of her character Richard Burlage's photographs. "They were quite a shock to me, validating somehow my theory of photography if not life itself: the way a frame, a photograph, can illumine and enlarge one's vision rather than limit it." (223) The mind's eye often allows us to ignore what we don't want to be know, in the same manner that Richard ignored the deforestation and damage caused by mining when he was part of the community. He noted, "Nothing had been done with thought or care of consequence, I noted - lumber tripped and the land left, machine parts everywhere rusting, trash and refuse out in the yards in from of the homes, if you could call them that, and children - children everywhere, ragged and dirty, in the road and in the filthy bare yards along it...I had never seen anything like it. The lumber companies had stripped the timber out all the way up the mountain, on both sides of the holler. They were doing it, I recalled, logging this holler, even while I was here...somehow I had thought nothing of it at the time, which caused me to wonder what else I might have missed!" (224) Smith on the other hand scripted every line with care. Anyone who has spent time in that region of the country will recognize the vernacular and the imagery.
sumteacher More than 1 year ago
This novel gives great insight into the history and culture of the once remote and isolated region of Appalachia. Lee Smith has a great voice that comes through in her characters. This book will stay with you long after you put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was doing ok with this book when all of a sudden it switched to another character's voice (Richard, the schoolteacher). I go totally lost, thinking it was a different short story and actually skipped it. As I stated reading the next part, I realized that what I had skipped was a part of the story so I went back and read it. then when I finished the book, I read the whole thing front to back again to try to figure it out. This is obviously not good. I do have to point out that the book was engaging enough that I wanted to read it again, but I should not have had to follow the story line...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the story, but there was no need to include the foul language. The story would have been wonderful without it.