Dimestore: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith
"Here's Lee Smith at her best. Dimestore is personal nonfiction, where her brilliance shines. Her wide warmth blesses everything funny about life and—here especially—everything moving and deep."
“In Lee Smith’s memoir, Dimestore, readers will gladly join her, finding her writing with the same lively spirit that has always informed her fiction. She never turns away from her Appalachian roots, revealing that remote region with discerning affection.”
—North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Elizabeth Spencer, author of Starting Over
“In her first work of nonfiction, novelist Smith explores how deep her Appalachian roots go, in this entertaining and poignant collection of Southern memories.”
For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five 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 mountains of Virginia, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was a place of coal miners, tent revivals, mountain music, drive-in theaters, and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing adventures for the store’s dolls--that she became a storyteller. Even when she was sent off to college to earn some “culture,” she understood that perhaps the richest culture she might ever know was the one she was driving away from--and it’s a place that she never left behind.
Dimestore’s fifteen essays are crushingly honest, wise and perceptive, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving personal portrait and a testament to embracing one’s heritage. It’s also an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.
North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Lee Smith has published thirteen novels and four collections of short stories, including the bestselling novels Fair and Tender Ladies and The Last Girls, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Her new book is Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, a work of nonfiction. She is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the North Carolina Award for Literature. She lives in Hillsborough.