April 15, 2009
Novelist Lee Smith speaks at Lees-McRae April 23

Celebrated novelist Lee Smith will present a program on her work in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library at Lees-McRae College on Thursday, April 23, at 1:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Stephenson Center for Appalachia, the event is open to the public.

The author has received numerous awards for her fiction, including two O'Henry Awards, the Southern Book Critics Award and the Academy Award in Literature presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. While Appalachia is proud to claim her as a regional novelist, Lee Smith has won a national audience for her novels and short stories.

Smith has been a story-teller for as long as she can remember.

"I started telling stories as soon as I could talk-true stories, and made-up stories, too. It has always been hard for me to tell the difference between them. My father was fond of saying that I would climb a tree to tell a lie rather than stand on the ground to tell the truth. In fact, in the mountains of southwestern Virginia where I grew up, a lie was often called a story," she writes on her website.

Smith will specifically address her novel, Saving Grace, which Professor Allen Speer has taught in one of his classes this semester.

"We are looking at the theme of what part the natural world plays in our life stories," says Speer. "We explore nature and the sacred in Appalachia, and Lee Smith's work concerns those same issues."

Lees-McRae's Stephenson Center for Appalachia invites the public to participate in this special event, the third in a series of Stephenson Center lectures this semester. The Stafford Room is located on the second floor of the James H. Carson Library.

For information contact Meghan Wright in the Communications Office at Lees-McRae College at (828) 898-8729.

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