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.

Black Mountain Breakdown

Lee Smith makes you dizzy to smell freshly cut grass on a summer night. She lets you feel the bumps in the mountain road, and she plain drags you willingly, eagerly into the life and language of this Southern mountain town." --Atlanta Journal and Constitution

Black Mountain Breakdown (1981) is Lee Smith's first novel set in the mountains of Appalachia--in Black Rock, a fictional coal-mining town very much like Grundy. It is the story of Crystal Spengler's fall from innocence, as well as an object lesson in the perils of passivity--a turn of disposition, Smith says, to which many Southern women are particularly susceptible.

The novel traces the arc of Crystal's evolution from a romantic, daydreaming girl of 12 to an hysterically catatonic woman of 32. Black Mountain Breakdown is not only a much darker book than Smith's previous novels, but also a more mature novel.

Buy this book from Amazon.com.