Guests on Earth: A Novel

Algonquin Books
91
Free sample

“Reading Lee Smith ranks among the great pleasures of American fiction . . . Gives evidence again of the grace and insight that distinguish her work.” —Robert Stone, author of Death of the Black-Haired Girl

It’s 1936 when orphaned thirteen-year-old Evalina Toussaint is admitted to Highland Hospital, a mental institution in Asheville, North Carolina, known for its innovative treatments for nervous disorders and addictions. Taken under the wing of the hospital’s most notable patient, Zelda Fitzgerald, Evalina witnesses cascading events that lead up to the tragic fire of 1948 that killed nine women in a locked ward, Zelda among them. Author Lee Smith has created, through a seamless blending of fiction and fact, a mesmerizing novel about a world apart--in which art and madness are luminously intertwined.
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About the author

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.

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3.7
91 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Algonquin Books
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Published on
Oct 15, 2013
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781616203467
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"LUCID IN EXECUTION, BREATHTAKING IN SCOPE AND HEART-RENDING IN EFFECT--A REDEMPTIVE WORK OF ART. . . . Lee Smith has done more than write another novel about the South. She has broken through the grotesque surface to the underground spring, the music of Scrabble Creek, and the effect is stunning--a beguiling, gentle prose formed by an honesty so severe we are brought to our knees. . . . This novel has a grand and singular purpose, to clothe the spirit with flesh. In this, Lee Smith succeeds."
--The Washington Post Book World
"A compelling journey into all matters southern and spiritual . . . . Set in North Carolina and Tennessee, we follow young Grace Shepherd from a cabin in the bucolic poverty of Scrabble Creek to independence as a single woman. Stops along the way include seduction by a half-brother, a failed marriage, motherhood, the loss of her son, residence in the aptly-named Creekside apartments in Knoxville and a job waitressing. . . . While Grace's path may be a journey many of us would not choose to undertake, we have to raise a small fist of jubilance to Grace for having survived."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"Ms. Smith possesses a fine talent for creating narrative voices, whether the ungrammatical eloquence of a hill-country healer or the educated affectations of a Richmond gentleman."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Lee Smith patiently woos us into double vision. . . . As her fans know, [she] has one of the truest ears for the speech in her part of the world."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review
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