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Lee Smith, Contemporary Author

April 17, 2010 | 12 am

Grundy native and Community Read Author Lee Smith will be at the Bristol Public Library, Saturday, April 17th at 1:30 p.m. in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room.

Growing up in the Appalachian mountains of Southwest Virginia, 9-year-old Lee Smith was already writing—and selling, for a nickel apiece—stories about her neighbors in the coal boomtown of Grundy and the nearby isolated hollers. Since 1968, she has published many novels, including “Fair and Tender Ladies” and “Oral History”, as well as other collections of short stories, and has received several major writing awards. The sense of place infusing her novels reveals her insight into and empathy for the people and culture of Appalachia.

Her novel “Fair & Tender Ladies” is probably Smith’s most beloved book. She says she knows of at least four babies named for the novel's indomitable heroine, Ivy Rowe. This novel written in the form of letters chronicles the life of Ivy, a tenacious mountain woman who remains cussedly dedicated to the ideal of perseverance, despite the many formidable obstacles she faces. It is considered by many to be Smith's most fully realized and artistically successful work.

Copies of “Fair and Tender Ladies” are available for sale or check-out at the Bristol Public Library. All community members are encouraged to take part in the First Annual Community Read.

To prepare for Smith’s visit, the library is hosting many events throughout National Library Week:

Sunday, April 11th, 2:30 p.m. – Community Read Discussion of book “Fair and Tender Ladies”

Free and open to the public in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room

Tuesday, April 13th, 7:00 p.m. – DVD Documentary on Lee Smith, Rated G, 56 minutes

Free and open to the public in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room

Wednesday, April 14th, 7:00 p.m. -Teacher Discussion panel “Teaching Lee Smith”

Free and open to the public in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room

Friday, April 16th, 6:30 p.m. – Bristol Public Library Foundation’s First Annual Spring Gala featuring Lee Smith- Food and drinks; including a theatrical performance from Barbara Bates Smith

$50 ticket required at K.P. Duty in downtown Bristol

Saturday, April 17th, 1:30 p.m. — Lee Smith at the library with a special theatrical performance of “Fair and Tender Ladies”.

Free and open to the public in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room. Reserved seating available for $20.

*** There will also be a quilt display by the Holston Quilters Association in the Virgie R. Fleenor Art Gallery April 1st-30th.

For questions about these events or any other library programs, call (276) 821-6148 or visit www.bristol-library.org.