Lee Smith: Oral History (1696 words)


Published in 1983, Oral History is Lee Smith's best-known and most complex novel. Spanning generations and featuring multiple narratives in diverse voices, Oral History is replete with irony. The mere title of this novel – “oral history” imprinted between book covers – is just the beginning. Set in the hills and “Hollers” of Appalachia in the Southeastern United States, this novel starts with a simple premise – a scholar's search for her roots – and proceeds to take the reader through a maze of twists and turns in both plot and character relationships. The story of the Cantrell family – more specifically, how the Cantrell family was “cursed” – is revealed through the distinct voices of relatives, n…

Citation: Donohue, Cecilia. "Oral History". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 December 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=3017, accessed 26 January 2021.]

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here