A North Carolina Christmas, 1872
Lee Smith is, absolutely, my favorite author. I've read everything she has ever written, and one time I even wrote her a letter telling her how much her work has meant to me. Her Southern Appalachian characters are real, flawed, and beautiful. I love this passage from her most recent, and one her darker novels, On Agate Hill. Set in North Carolina just after the Civil War, the story is told through the diaries and letters of the characters, a style of which Ms. Smith has achieved complete mastery.