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Extended Audio Sample Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, by Lee Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (387 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Smith Narrator: Debra Monk, A Full Cast Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A celebrated novelist, Lee Smith is also 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. Here she collects fourteen stories—seven new ones along with seven favorites from her three earlier collections—and the result is 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. As the New York Times Book Review said, “In almost every one of [her stories] there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent.”

With this collection, Smith reclaims her place as the reigning queen of the bittersweet short story.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smith’s heroines find strength in the moments that push us all forward.” 


  • “Lee Smith has long had a reputation as a master of the short story, and her new collection…galvanizes that reputation…Smith offers the grit of the domestic scene, the power of the written word, and the transcendent beauty of women as friends, lovers, daughters, and mothers.” 

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “This wonderful writer is a readers’-advisory librarian’s dream. Short stories, ordinarily a relatively hard sell to library patrons, are a different animal when they are Lee Smith’s short stories. In a very hospitable way of talking, reminiscent of Ellen Gilchrist’s style in her delicious writing, Smith offers stories that deliver an irresistible one-two punch. The first punch is—again, like Gilchrist—the humor that fills every page. She doesn’t poke fun at the ordinary folks who stock her fiction but gets us to see, by their plights and successes, the universal absurdity in their struggles to attain love and significance. The second punch is the meaningfulness of every story. All of us, in different garb, appear at some point in a Smith story…The title story is entertaining and riveting from its first line…The most beautiful story is the very short ‘Toastmaster,’ an imaginative narrative from the point of view of a bookish little boy.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Winner of the 1999 Academy Award for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary Mendenhall | 2/13/2014

    " This book has great characterizations, but seemed a little disjointed to me. Every chapter introduced a new character or scernario and I kept waiting for them to by connected. As always, I love her characters, but I wanted more of a continuous storyline. I did give it an extra point for mentioning the Merle Watson Festival :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Phoebe | 2/13/2014

    " I skipped around in this short story collection, not being much of a short story fan. Smith writes in an impressive array of voices and styles, getting out of the way so her characters shine through. Really liked "Bob a Dog." For Southern fiction fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Pam | 2/10/2014

    " A nice collection of short stories centered around (mainly) Southern characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jamey | 2/7/2014

    " The title of this book of short stories is what drew me in. I ended up reading about 4 of them and didn't love any so never finished. "

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