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News of the Spirit (Signed First Edition)

Lee Smith

311 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0399142819 / ISBN 13: 9780399142819
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Dan Pope Books (West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons [1997]. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New in dust jacket, very fine/very fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. [CASE5] 0.0. Bookseller Inventory # leaf39

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Bibliographic Details

Title: News of the Spirit (Signed First Edition)

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition....

About this title


A collection of stories about imagination, longing, despair, and loving in all its strange and shifting forms includes the tales of Jenny, whose parents move to Key West to cure their marriage, and Charlene, who makes up an imaginary brother. 35,000 first printing."


The warmhearted Southern women who narrate Lee Smith's latest collection of short stories share oddball sensibilities and an irrepressible urge to tell all. In fact, they are the friendliest, most garrulous bunch of liars, posers, and voyeurs you ever met. Although the young narrator in "Live Bottomless" habitually bicycles around town and peeks in windows, for instance, she feels little guilt about it. Instead, she congratulates herself for being such a go-getter: "It was amazing what you could see, especially if you were an athletic and enterprising girl such as myself." There is something very likeable about the young girl's optimism in the face of the sadness she witnesses at home and all across town.

Elsewhere, Smith explores the uses of storytelling itself. In the book's first piece, a college freshman tells her sorority sisters that she has a wild brother named Bubba just to make her life seem more exciting. It works, and lying becomes one of the aspiring writer's favorite pastimes. In "The Happy Memories Club," an old woman in a nursing home joins a writing group and shares the grim stories of her youth with the other members, shocking them. The stories don't make the old woman sad--in fact, reciting them seems to sustain her at a time when her health is declining rapidly. Lee Smith's stories are light but infectious, the kind of literary confections it's tempting to consume a handful at a time. Fans of Ellen Gilchrist and Bobbie Ann Mason are likely to enjoy these tales of strong, occasionally tipsy women and their wild, wild families. --Jill Marquis

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