Lee Smith requested that I "do something" from her most recently published novel, "Guests on Earth," accompanying her talk. Well. I fell in love with the decidedly new and wistful voice of the teen-age pianist Evalina, who encounters the vivid Zelda Fitzgerald at Asheville's Highland Hospital.And why not later add two other colorfully diverse characters from Lee's fiction: "Ivy" the feisty mountain woman from "Fair and Tender Ladies" and "Alice," a saucy senior in "The Happy Memories Club," whose memories are deemed "not happy enough."
"The two Smiths seem made for each other," cited the Asheville Citizen-Times. Lee Smith has said, “I am Barbara’s most avid fan and groupie, and Jeff is a genius as musical accompanist.”
The photo is from the Waynesville Library. It was a hit (one could ask librarian Kathy Olsen). Jeff and I are now touring with it.