Southern writer Lee Smith, who was born in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, is known for acclaimed books “The Last Girls,” “On Agate Hill,” and “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger.” Since 1968, she has published 15 novels, along with four collections of short stories. She’s received a number of awards including the O. Henry Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Fiction, the North Carolina Award for Literature and Mercer University’s Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature.
Smith’s new novel, “Guests on Earth,” is set for publication in October and has a special connection to Asheville. A description of the book reads, “When troubled, brilliant young Evalina Toussaiant , orphan child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, ends up at Asheville’s Highland Hospital in 1936, she finds herself amidst a wild cast of characters including Zelda Fitzgerald. As piano accompanist for all hospital programs, Evalina gains privileged insight into the lives and events which transpire until the still unsolved 1948 fire that took the life of Zelda and nine other women.”
Smith will appear at Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.