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Guests on Earth

ISBN-10: 1616203803
ISBN-13: 9781616203801
Edition: N/A
Authors: Lee Smith
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Description: Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is just thirteen when she is admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the mental hospital is under the direction of the celebrated  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publication date: 5/13/2014
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 368
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.770
Language: English

Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is just thirteen when she is admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the mental hospital is under the direction of the celebrated psychiatrist Robert S. Carroll. His innovative program of treatment for mental and nervous disorders and addictions is based on exercise, diet, art, and occupational therapies--and experimental shock therapy.Evalina finds herself in the company of some notable fellow patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald, estranged wife of F. Scott, who takes the young piano prodigy under her wing. Evalina becomes the accompanist for the musical programs at the hospital. This provides privileged insight into the events that transpire over the next twelve years, culminating in a tragic fire--its mystery unsolved to this day--that killed nine women in a locked ward, Zelda among them. At all costs, Evalina listens, observes, remembers--and tells us everything.Guests on Earth is a mesmerizing novel about a time and a place where creativity and passion, theory and medicine, fact and fiction, are luminously intertwined by a writer at the height of her craft.

Lee Smith is a novelist, short story writer, and educator. She was born in 1944 in Grundy, Virginia. Smith attended Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia. In her senior year at Hollins, Smith entered a Book-of-the-Month Club contest, submitting a draft of a novel called The Last Day the Dog Bushes Bloomed. The book, one of 12 entries to receive a fellowship, was published in 1968. Smith wrote reviews for local papers and continued to write short stories. Smith received O. Henry Awards in 1978 and 1980 and in 1981, her first collection of short stories, Cakewalk, was published. Smith taught at North Carolina State University. Her novel, Oral History, published in 1983, was a Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection. Smith has received the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Award, the Robert Penn Warren Prize for Fiction, the North Carolina Award for Fiction, and the Academy Award in Literature presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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