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Published: Jul 31 2018
Size: 6 x 9
Danielle N. Johnson is an independent scholar specializing in contemporary American fiction. She earned a Ph.D. in literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She resides in New York City.
"Spanning Lee Smith's voluminous publishing career Understanding Lee Smith delivers an insightfully nuanced analysis of a writer whose popularity with readers has occasionally eclipsed the genuine magnitude of her art. Danielle Johnson's meticulous and exultant scholarship leaves no doubt about the imperishable literary value of Smith's mature artistry. The book is a gift to Southern Letters."—Marianne Gingher, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"Johnson's thoroughly researched and readable study covers key themes in Lee Smith's work: sexuality, identity, women's community, insider-outsider dynamics, spirituality, language, mental illness. Tracing Smith's upending of received tropes and stereotypes, Johnson reveals the fiction's narrative complexity as she interweaves close reading, criticism, and Smith's biography into an impressively contextualized analysis."—Rebecca Godwin, Barton College
"In Understanding Lee Smith, Danielle N. Johnson has a strong hold on Smith's fiction's unvarnished openness as well as its sly complexities, and she takes a clear-eyed look at the whole host of 'painful crimes of passion and tragic love stories.' Johnson weaves with skill and sagacity through the wonders of Smith's cosmography, letters and diaries, tongues of fire, church-like mountains, blood-purifying greens, mothers and lovers and old friends and kin, finding deep patterns and brilliant points of light."—Bland Simpson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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