A celebrated novelist, Lee Smith is likewise recognized as a master of the short story and has been compared with such luminaries as Katherine Ann Porter, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O’Connor. Now she collects fourteen stories—seven brand-new ones along with seven favorites from her three earlier collections. The result? A book of dazzling richness.
Famous for unmistakable voices and a craft so strong and sure it seems effortless, Lee Smith’s stories strike dead center at the turning points of her characters’ lives. Here those characters range from an eight-year-old boy obsessed with vocabulary words to a young bride who has married “way up” to Mrs. Darcy herself, an older woman making it through widowhood her own way.
With this collection—her first in thirteen years—Smith reclaims her place as the reigning queen of the bittersweet short story.
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith is a collection of fourteen short stories that put to words the experiences of life through charmingly witty and funny prose. Smith adeptly carries readers’ attention through laugh out loud funny moments as well as heartbreaking moments as she brings to life each of the characters portrayed in these stories from the southern United States. Perhaps my favorite of the fourteen is “Stevie and Mama” which had some of the best moments dealing with clashes of personalities for example when hippie parents meet their daughter’s straight and politically correct boyfriend. Though only seven of the fourteen stories are new, they were all new to me and I enjoyed each one for its message and the powerfully moving characters that she uses to tell the stories. For readers seeking short stories that offer up some very touching moments that will make readers laugh in one and cry in another, I recommend Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger.
Lee Smith is the author of fifteen previous books of fiction— three collections of short stories and a dozen novels, including the bestsellers Fair and Tender Ladies and The Last Girls, winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. The recipient of the 1999 Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.
To learn more about author Lee Smith of her literary works, please visit her website.
I received a copy of Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith from Algonquin Books to offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.