The Last Girls centers around four middle-aged Southern women who, as students at an idyllic Blue Ridge women's college thirty years before, were inspired by Huckleberry Finn to take their own raft trip down the Mississippi River. Now a tragedy brings them back together for a repeat voyage under very different circumstances--aboard a luxurious cruise steamboat. Through this framework, which can be seen as a modern-day rendition of Mary McCarthy's The Group, Smith explores the nature of romance, the relationship between life and fiction, the relevance of the past to the present, and the unexpected course of women's lives.
about Lee Smith
Born in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Virginia, Lee Smith began writing stories at the age of nine and selling them for a nickel apiece. Since then, she has written seventeen works of fiction, including Fair and Tender Ladies, Oral History, and, most recently, Guests on Earth. She has received many awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; her novel The Last Girls was a New York Times bestseller as well as winner of the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina, with her husband, the writer Hal Crowther. Visit her at www.leesmith.com.