Lee Smith is a "teller of tales for tale tellers to admire and envy . . . [and] a reader’s dream" (Houston Chronicle). A celebrated and bestselling writer with a dozen novels under her name, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and The Last Girls, she is just as widely recognized for her exceptional short stories. Here, in Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, Smith collects seven brand-new stories along with seven of her favorites from three earlier collections. The result? A book of dazzling richness. As the New York Times Book Review put it, "In al- most every one of [her stories] there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent."
Published: Storey Publishing an imprint of Workman eBooks on May 31, 2011
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Forever after, when I should happen to think about Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, I’ll think of blue eyes, beaches and gin and tonics, pleasant summer evenings, and romance. But, I will also remember adultery and sadness, suicide and loss, abandonment and loneliness, and loss of youth. The thread stringing together these stories was life-changing moments when a character was inspired to choose one direction or another; to accept or not accept; to blossom or to fade away. The characters were so real to me and their choices so important that I continued reading whether I liked the story or not. I needed to know what became of these people. That is how well they were drawn. In truth, these stories had a lot of gray. Each character was flawed in some way. Maybe she drank too much, maybe he was unfaithful, maybe she was bitter, maybe he was socially awkward, but most characters felt like a neighbor or a friend. I wanted to forgive them and let them enjoy their gin and tonics on the beach. So I did; not because they deserved it, but because they trusted me with their secrets.more
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