A new edition of Smith's comic short stories featuring an
array of memorable southern characters
First published in 1982, Cakewalk was the first short story collection by iconic Southern writer Lee Smith. Comic and observant, Smith's fourteen tales in Cakewalk introduce readers to a host of memorable Southern characters. Her protagonists include aging gossips, a soap opera–hooked housewife, a runaway teenager, and divergent sisters in various combinations. Smith's gutsy Southern women don't always triumph, but, with her sympathetic portrayals, readers gain appreciation for the merits of spirited perseverance, right or wrong, in the face of modern adversity. The characters are everyday folks with everyday problems, particularly the tensions of home and family and loneliness and connection. Smith is keenly aware of the foibles that make people so maddeningly funny but also deeply sensitive to their pain and sorrow.
This Southern Revival edition includes a new introduction by the author.
Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and her recent collection of stories, Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger. Her many awards include the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times best seller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Smith's latest novel is Guests on Earth.
, a native of Grundy, Virginia, is the author of sixteen works of fiction, including
"The South has always been a special domain for women writers. Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Harper Lee, and Katherine Ann Porter come immediately to mind…. Lee Smith, in this fine collection of short stories, joins in this tradition."—San Diego Union
"Cakewalk is great fun, its tales shrewdly observant of segments of North Carolina life."—Wall Street Journal
"Excellent…Beautiful portrayals…Dazzling."—Chicago Tribune
"Lee Smith strikes dead center the nerves of women's lives and does it with a grace and style that make her one of the writers to watch most closely."—Houston Post
"Smith has a perfect voice, incorporating hints of both refinement and shabbiness. Quite simply, excellent writing."—Booklist