This program originally aired April 4, 2016
Lee Smith started writing stories when she was nine years old and sold them for a nickel a piece.
Many of them were inspired by the gossip, true stories and daily grind she observed at her father's dime store, deep in the coal mining mountains of Virginia.
That is where she developed her extraordinary ability to tell a story, listening to the joy and conflict of the lives that defined Appalachia.
Her career as a fiction writer took off after she moved to North Carolina. Since then, she has written 17 works of fiction that bring the art and culture of the Appalachian South alive for her readers.
Her novels have earned her the numerous awards, and she is now known as one of North Carolina's most beloved authors.
Host Frank Stasio talks with Smith about her life and work. Smith's memoir, "Dimestore" (Algonquin/2016), was released in March.