The Plot Against the President

The Plot Against the President

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

Investigative journalist Lee Smith explores the deep state using his unprecedented access to Congressman Devin Nunes, former head of the House Intelligence Committee. Investigative journalist Lee Smith's The Plot Against the President tells the story of how Congressman Devin Nunes uncovered the operation to bring down the commander-in-chief. While popular opinion holds that Russia subverted democratic processes during the 2016 elections, the real damage was done not by Moscow or any other foreign actor. Rather, this was a slow-moving coup engineered by a coterie of the American elite, the "deep state," targeting not only the president, but also the rest of the country. The plot officially began July 31, 2016 with the counterintelligence investigation that the FBI opened to probe Russian infiltration of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. But the bureau never followed any Russians. In fact, it was an operation to sabotage Trump, the candidate, then...
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Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger

Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

A celebrated novelist, Lee Smith is likewise recognized as a master of the short story and has been compared with such luminaries as Katherine Ann Porter, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O'Connor. Now she collects fourteen stories—seven brand-new ones along with seven favorites from her three earlier collections. The result? A book of dazzling richness.Famous for unmistakable voices and a craft so strong and sure it seems effortless, Lee Smith's stories strike dead center at the turning points of her characters' lives. Here those characters range from an eight-year-old boy obsessed with vocabulary words to a young bride who has married "way up" to Mrs. Darcy herself, an older woman making it through widowhood her own way. As the New York Times Book Review put it, "In almost every one of [her stories] there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent."With this collection—her first in...
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The Devil's Dream

The Devil's Dream

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

Now back in print from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls. It was in 1833 or '34 that Moses Bailey brought young Kate Malone down to Cold Spring Holler to be his wife. But Moses, wanting to become a preacher like his daddy was, left Kate time and again to look after the kids while he went out in search of a sign from God. Though he warned them about the evils of playing the fiddle, a kind of music he likened to the devil's own laughter, it passed the time for his bride and children, and soon became not just a way of life for the Baileys, but a curse that would last for generations.
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The Last Girls

The Last Girls

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERLEE SMITHAuthor of News of the SpiritTHE LAST GIRLSA Novel“Wise and insightful . . . The Last Girls deserves to be shared, pondered, and treasured.”–The Dallas Morning News“[A] GENIAL, THOUGHTFUL, FUNNY NOVEL, WRITTEN WITH THE WIT AND ASSURANCE OF A BORN STORYTELLER.”–The Hartford Courant“RICH AND DELICIOUS . . . THE STORY OF FOUR WOMEN . . .Years ago, they were girls, not women–the last generation of American females to be called ‘girls’–who traveled down the Mississippi River . . . on a makeshift raft while they were on summer vacation . . . There were twelve of them on that trip; now there are these four, brought together by tragedy. One of their classmates . . . has died in an automobile wreck (was it really an accident?), and her husband has asked the old friends to re-create the river journey and scatter her ashes at the mouth of the Mississippi. . . . It’s a reunion of classmates with all of the in-between revealed in intimate detail, as only a skilled and classy storyteller can do it.”–The Boston Globe“AN HONEST PORTRAIT OF INTELLIGENT, WELL-ROUNDED SOUTHERNERS is always refreshing, and The Last Girls delivers. The book may be influenced by Twain, but Smith proves she has a voice all her own.”–USA Today“BREEZILY WRITTEN AND DISPLAYING SMITH’S TRADEMARK PITCH-PERFECT EAR FOR DIALOGUE, funny but with the dark touches of all good comedy, the novel charts the course by which the ‘girls’ . . . seek love and self-fulfillment during the three decades approaching the end of the century. Call it Huckleberry Fin de Siècle.”–Time Out New York“SMITH’S COMIC GENIUS SPARKLES . . . Under Smith’s deft hand, these woman bloom exceptionally authentic.. . Using the premise that both a reunion and a riverboat provide good lookouts on the past, she details the passing terrain as she details each woman’s emotional history, from child to adult, from dates to love affairs, from silly shenanigans to tragic accidents. And what details! The book is filled with memorable scenes. . . . Smith adds a purely feminine, deeply southern twist to the Mark Twain tradition of humor and precision applied generously to the subject of human weakness.”–Richmond Times-Dispatch“Lee Smith’s genius is in her seamless weaving of the two stories, past and present, so that we realize what the stakes are for these women, and how they have arrived at the reunion as footsore pilgrims–a bit battered and bruised, but sailing on nevertheless. . . . Smith has that talent that all storytellers envy: the ability to dive deeply into the lives of her characters, to bring them to life in their rich fullness, warts and all. Each of these women could energize an entire book. Each brings something unique and captivating to a superb tale that will stay with you long after the reading is done. Together they compel each of us to ask what has brought us to the near shore, and how we set sail from here.”–The Boston GlobeAmazon.com ReviewIn the brisk and readable The Last Girls, acclaimed Southern writer Lee Smith reunites four college suitemates on a boat tour of the mighty Mississippi. Thirty-five years before, inspired by reading Twain's Huckleberry Finn in class (a detail not nearly revisited enough), the women floated down the same river on a manmade raft; now they are gathered at the request of their recently deceased ringleader's husband. The story unfolds through the eyes of each woman as the old friends weave college memories with their own dramas spanning the three decades since graduation. Harriet, Courtney, Catherine, and Anna come through muddily compared to their dead friend Baby. Even in death, Baby, a Sylvia Plath-like creature with voracious appetites for poetry, self-mutilation, and sex, nearly overwhelms her more reticent friends with past behaviors better suited to a mental institution than a dorm room. As the tour boat bobs along in the wake of these women's emotional crises, Smith offers up the contemporary female life experience, fivefold. At its heart, this is a book about how we never quite outgrow the past, even after plenty of chances to do otherwise. --Emily RussinFrom Publishers WeeklyThe Big Chill meets Huckleberry Finn in a moving novel inspired by a real-life episode. Thirty-six years ago, Smith (Oral History) and 15 other college "girls" sailed a raft down the Mississippi River from Kentucky to New Orleans in giddy homage to Huck. Here she reimagines that prefeminist odyssey, and then updates it, as four of the raft's alumnae take a steamboat cruise in 1999 to recreate their river voyage and scatter the ashes of one of their own. What results is an unsentimental journey back to not-quite-halcyon college days of the mid-1960s ("periods cramps boys dates birth babies the works") masterfully intercut with more recent stories of marriages, infidelities, health crises and career moves, all set firmly in the South. At first the characters threaten to be mere stereotypes: innocent, self-sacrificing Harriet; arty, maternal Catherine; brittle Southern belle Courtney; brassy romance novelist Anna. But Smith reveals surprising truths about each character, even as she suggests that the fate of their departed classmate-the wild, promiscuous, possibly suicidal Baby-may never be understood. The steamboat setting provides ample opportunities to skewer cruise ship tackiness and Southern kitsch, a witty counterpoint to the often troubled personal stories of the passengers. Readers who like their plots linear may be challenged by the tangle of tales, but those who agree that "there are no grown-ups," and that there's "no beginning and no end" to the "real story" of people's lives, will find this tender, generous, graceful novel a delight. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Dimestore

Dimestore

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

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 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 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, Lee Smith was being raised to leave it. Her formal education and travels took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her. Dimestore's fifteen essays are crushingly honest, always...
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Fair and Tender Ladies

Fair and Tender Ladies

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

"A TOUR DE FORCE"- *Los Angeles Times"The story of Ivy Rowe, born near the turn of the century in the Virginia Mountain enclave of Sugar Fork, is told completely through letters that Ivy is forever writing family and friends...Lee Smith exhibits her own understanding and affection for the traditions of the Appalachians. She is at home with the down-home speech and ways of her characters. They come vividly to life, and none more so than Ivy, whose voice and heart and humor sustain Fair and Tender Ladies."- Philadelphia Inquirer"Because of Ivy's narrative ability and her zest for living, Fair and Tender Ladies opens for us like a flower with a gloriously unexpected center. There are unforgettable characters...Few readers will be dry-eyed as they watch this extraordinary woman disappear around that last bend in the road."-Chicago Tribune"These beautiful letters...display Ivy's soul up close, the way a just-caught firefly illuminates a jar. So real does she become that it is hard to believe that Ivy did not actually live to write her letters."-USA Today*"This is about a moving a work of literature as has ever been written." ANNIE DILLARD
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Saving Grace

Saving Grace

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

This is why I have had to come back now, traveling these dusty old back roads one more time. For I mean to tell my story, and I mean to tell the truth. I am a believer in the Word, and I am not going to flinch from telling it, not even the terrible things… Florida Grace Shepherd, eleventh child of the itinerant, snake-handling Reverend Virgil Shepherd, grew up traveling across the Appalachian South. In her heart, she raged against the constant hardships that her parents insisted were part of the Lord?™s plan. As she got older, she learned of her father?™s “backsliding” with other women, and watched as it drove her mother to an early grave. Returning to Scrabble Creek, where her happiest memories took place, Grace recounts the harrowing journey of her life with the Lord, from her travels with her father to the day she finally broke free of him only to marry another preacher much older than she, as well as her own stumbles along the rocky and...
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The Christmas Letters

The Christmas Letters

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

In The Christmas Letters, three generations of women reveal their stories of love and marriage in the letters they write to family and friends during the holidays. It's a down-home Christmas story about tradition, family, and the shared experiences of women.Here, in a letter of her own, Lee Smith explains how she was inspired to write this celebrated epistolary novel:Dear Friends,Like me, you probably get Christmas letters every year. I read every word and save every letter. Because every Christmas letter is the story of a life, and what story can be more interesting than the story of our lives? Often, it is the story of an entire family. But you also have to read between the lines with Christmas letters. Sometimes, what is not said is even more important than what is on the page.In The Christmas Letters, I have used this familiar format to illumine the lives, hopes, dreams, and disappointments of three generations of American women. Much of the story of The...
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Black Mountain Breakdown

Black Mountain Breakdown

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Girls presents one of her most compelling novels, acclaimed by Anne Tyler, Annie Dillard, and more... Everywhere about her, from the traffic on Highway 460 to the river that's gone black with coal dust, Crystal Spangler sees a current flowing from the mountain town of Black Rock into the wider world. As a teenager, she is elected beauty queen, gets good grades, and-despite her many enviable qualities-manages also to be well-loved. Everyone knows that she is destined to leave town and do great things.And she does.But no one expects her return; drawn back home by some sort of memory, as if the current that had taken her away had changed its mind...Review"The closest thing to reading this would be reading Madame Bovary while listening to Loretta Lynn."(-Roy Blount, Jr. )"Black Mountain Breakdown is like a country song. It is true and real; it is loving and sad."(-Annie Dillard ) From the Inside FlapCrystal Spangler lives in rural Appalachia. She's the apple of her mother's eye -- not yet beautiful, but she will be. She's the most popular girl at Black Rock High. She makes cheerleader, gets good grades, and is elected beauty queen. Crystal discovers God, goes to college, and falls in love. When she comes home, she's disheveled and confused. Crystal becomes a wealthy politician's wife. But there's something calling her, drawing her back to where it all began, in the shadow of Black Mountain . . .From the Paperback edition.
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Family Linen

Family Linen

Lee Smith

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Historical Fiction

When Sybill Hess drives over to the hypnotist's office, she hopes he can cure her of the headaches interrupting her sleep the way her friend Betty once saw a woman on TV cure a woman's stammer. But what Dr. Diamond uncovers from Sybill's subconscious goes much deeper than her nervousness over a new tenant who seems to want a date. A shocking memory from Sybill's past threatens to upend everything she thinks she knows about herself and her family. But is it even real?
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