University of Pittsburgh
March 27, 2000

LEE SMITH TO CLOSE PITT'S PITTSBURGH CONTEMPORARY WRITERS SERIES SEASON

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, March 27 -- Lee Smith, author of "Fair and Tender Ladies" and "Saving Grace," will bring the University of Pittsburgh's Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season to a close with her presentation on Monday, April 10, at 8:15 p.m., in Room 125 of the Frick Fine Arts Building.

Smith was born in 1944 in Grundy, a small coal-mining town in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern Virginia. She attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, where Annie Dillard, essayist and novelist, was a fellow student.

During her senior year at Hollins in 1966, Smith submitted an early draft of a novel to a Book-of-the-Month Club contest and was awarded one of 12 fellowships. Two years later, that novel, "The Last Day the Dog Bushes Bloomed," (Harper & Row, 1968) became her first published work of fiction.

Her other books include "Something in the Wind;" "Black Mountain Breakdown;" "Oral History," which became a Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection; "Family Linen; and "The Devil's Dream." She also has written two collections of short stories for which she won O. Henry Awards.

Smith has received the Robert Penn Warren Prize for fiction, the John Dos Passos Award for literature, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writer's Award. She teaches writing at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Smith lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, journalist Hal Crowther.

The Contemporary Writers Series is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh's English Department, Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, Africana Studies Program, The Book Center, and the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

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