Lee’s new memoir, Dimestore will be published in March, 2016 by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Click to hear Lee Smith read a portion of The Last Girls.

Family Linen

The peculiar thought arises that Smith writes her slightly ramshackle novels in a mood of philanthropy, to give shelter to her vulnerable characters. Good for her, good for them, good for us." --Time

Family Linen (1985), another multi-generational mystery, continues and expands upon some of the themes and techniques Smith began working with in Oral History. This time around, though, the mystery is a more conventional one, at least on its surface: Did Sybill Hess long ago witness the murder of her father, or is it a trick of the memory? Did her mother really take an axe to him and dump his body in a backyard well? To answer these questions, Smith again uses multiple points of view; but, of course, instead of clearing up the matter, Family Linen's irreconcilable narratives succeed only in raising more--and more profound--questions.

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