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Reviews for Free Men Interviews for Free Men
  • “With this collage of experiences twisted together and soaked in blood, Smith cuts to the bone of our national character.”
    Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • “A novel of American masculinity that deserves comparison with Cormac McCarthy, Jim Harrison and Herman Melville. The bar is set that high and the canvas stretched that broad.”
    Matthew Guinn, Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS)
  • “The heart of this quietly graceful and lushly-written novel is Cat. His narration recalls Faulkner in its acrobatic use of metaphor and earthy, visceral near-poetry.”
    Chapter 16 (Nashville, TN)
  • “Smith again applies her close attention to historical subjects, a feel for evocative language, and the undertone of a woman’s longing and adds to that structured suspense and epic ambition.”
    Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC)
  • “Glimpses into a vanished but fully realized world, one which has completely engaged us by novel’s satisfying end.”
    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “If she hasn’t been compared to de Tocqueville yet, she will be soon.”
    Nashville Scene, Critics’ Picks
  • “Smith’s decision to have the characters tell their own backstories gives the book its sociological heft. . . . Smith’s mirror artfully portrays the men as neither bloodthirsty villains nor victims.”
    Charlotte Observer
  • “Smith’s sharp prose has a sense of urgency, propelling the story swiftly forward, but not without exploring the complexities of the South and of America’s own challenging and often violent beginnings.”
    New Orleans Magazine
  • “If you are looking for historical fiction that you cannot put down, . . . Smith delivers with her sophomore novel, crafting beautifully developed characters who tell a story all their own.”
    The Daily Mississippian
  • “Evokes the complexity of a fledgling America in precise, poetic language. . . . Rich with insights about history and the human heart.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • “If [The Story of Land and Sea] could be described as a beautiful murmur, this book is a shout, sharply written and more urgent.”
    Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
  • “It’s the story that will burrow into the hearts of readers, not the petticoats.”
    Huffington Post
  • “While the men are trying to figure out their lives, they have these women on their shoulders who are providing a model for how to live a decisive and brave life in early America.”
    The State of Things, WUNC
  • “We all want the same things: someone to love us, a family to comfort us, a sense of history, a sense of purpose.”
    Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS)
  • “I don’t know any more about how to write a novel now than I ever did.”
    New Orleans Advocate
  • “Snowballs, snowballs, snowballs.”
    GoNOLA.com
  • “Trying to get into the heads of eighteenth-century men was a thrill for me.”
    My Carolina Talk, WNCN
  • “I never felt that my age was a handicap. I don’t think it really matters how old you are; it’s just how big your imagination is.”
    Mississippi Edition, MPB
  • “One of the things I wanted to do with an enslaved character was to depict a version of slavery that was neither the most horrific thing you can imagine nor an idealized, romantic view of it. “
    Gambit (New Orleans, LA)
Reviews for The Story of Land and Sea Interviews for The Story of Land and Sea
  • Elle, September 2014

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