In her first work of nonfiction, Lee Smith deploys the wit, wisdom, and graceful prose for which she is beloved to conjure her early days in the small coal town of Grundy, Virginia and beyond. For the inimitable Lee Smith, place is paramount. For forty-five years, her fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. But never before has she written her own story. Set deep in the rugged Appalachian Mountains, the Grundy of Lee Smith's youth was a place of coal miners, mountain music, and her daddy's dimestore. It was in that dimestore--listening to customers and inventing life histories for the store's dolls--that she began to learn the craft of storytelling. Even though she adored Grundy, Smith's formal education and travels took her far from Virginia, though her Appalachian upbringing never left her.

"Dimestore's fifteen essays are crushingly honest, always wise, and superbly entertaining. Smith has created both a moving, personal portrait and a broader meditation on embracing one's heritage. Hers is an inspiring story of the birth of a writer and a poignant look at a way of life that has all but vanished. You know how in Lee Smith's fiction there's always something so fresh, crazy, and loving? In Dimestore is the essence of Lee.--Roy Blount Jr., author of Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text

NONFICTION: Biography, Autobiography, & Memoir | Dimestore: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith (Algonquin Books, 9781616205027) | BUY FROM AN INDIE

Serafina's defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.

When a mysterious series of attacks test Serafina's role as Biltmore's protector, she finds herself torn from the side of her best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt. Heartbroken, she flees. Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore and discovers its reach is far greater than she'd ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.

JUVENILE | Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion, 9781484775035) | BUY FROM AN INDIE