In her first work of nonfiction, Lee Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia - and beyond.
For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For 45 years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy's dimestore. It was in that dimestore - listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store's dolls - that she began to learn the craft of storytelling. Even though she adored Grundy, Smith's formal education and travels took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her.
Dimestore's 15 essays are crushingly honest, always wise, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving, personal portrait and a broader meditation on embracing one's heritage. Hers is an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.
"As [narrator Linda] Stephens shares Smith's collection of essays, which explore the indelible influence that the Appalachian region had on her imagination and creative life, listeners will begin to believe she IS the author. Bringing to life a forgotten world of local dime stores and a distinctive region with its own passions and eccentricities, Stephens casts a spell and breathes insight into Smith's candid observations..." (AudioFile)
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- Tricia "Say something about yourself!"
I don't really know. I am a huge fan of Lee Smith's books and I expected this book to be fascinating. I'm three-quarters of the way through it and I'm still waiting for it to get interesting.
I wish I had chosen to read, rather than listen to this book. For the life of me, I don't know why they didn't get a southerner to narrate it. The accent is wrong, the intonations, the phrasing, it just doesn't sound like it should.
I have listened to other books narrated by Ms. Stephens and they were fine. She was not the right person for this book, however. It should have been performed by a southerner. The whole gestalt is wrong. It is almost painful to listen to. I really wish I had listened to the sample first.
Please, southern narrators for southern books. That goes for any book that has a definite identity with a country or area of a country, not just the south.
- Baking fan