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Dimestore
Dimestore
by Lee Smith


 
First Edition. Signed.
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Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin (2016)

First Edition. Signed. As new in dust jacket.


In her first work of nonfiction, Lee Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her childhood in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia.

For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South, where she grew up. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy of Lee Smith’s youth was, as the song goes, country when country wasn’t cool. Hillbilly, some might have said. A place of tent revivals and mountain music, of front-porch yarns and her daddy’s dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store’s dolls--that she began to learn the craft of storytelling.

Even though she adored Grundy, Lee Smith was being raised to leave it. Into adulthood, into the travels that took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her.Dimestore’s fifteen exquisite vignettes are crushingly honest, joyously raucous, and superbly entertaining. As she does so well, Lee Smith has created both a moving, personal portrait and a broader meditation on embracing one’s heritage. But it’s also an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished.

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