Smith has received fellowships from the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center and The New York Council on the Arts. She was born and raised in Brooklyn and now lives in Atlanta with her son. She is currently at work on her next novel.
Courtesy of The Bantam Dell Publishing Group
The Sisterhood of Blackberry
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Pub. Date: May 2006
Format: Hardcover, 320pp
Publisher: Dell Publishing
Canaan Creek, South Carolina, in the 1950s is a tiny town where the close-knit
African-American community is united by long-term friendships and church ties.
Bonnie Wilder has lived here, on Blackberry Corner, all her life, and would be
content but for her deep desire to have a child. She and her husband Naz cannot
conceive, and he refuses to adopt. Even the support of her outrageous best
friend Thora'to whom Bonnie tells everything'can't help fill the emptiness
Then Naz finds a blanketed infant on the banks of Canaan Creek, and suddenly Bonnie's life is transformed. She has found her calling. Together with Thora and the rest of the hilarious, tough, and all-too-human women from her church group, Bonnie creates an underground railroad for unwanted babies. But one of these precious gifts will come back to haunt her: a deception begun in good faith comes full circle, ultimately forcing Bonnie to find the courage to confront a difficult truth at the center of her own life.
Filled with compassion, humor, and tenacity in the face of almost insurmountable odds, here is a rich, inspiring tale of friendship and family, sisterhood and mother love'and of finding grace where you least expect it.
Night at Honeybee's
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Pub. Date: February 2004
Format: Paperback, 306pp
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group
"Everyone who's anyone in the Harlem music
scene has heard of Honeybee McColor and the famous Friday night gathers that
fill her brownstone to bursting. In the early 1960s, nowhere but "The Big House"
attracts so many renowned jazz and blues musicians - and no one but Miss
Honeybee attracts such talented lost souls as Forestine Bent and Viola Bembrey."
The two women come from opposite worlds: one from the Brooklyn projects, the
other from the Baptist, rural South. Both know that they belong elsewhere. A
rare and extraordinary singer, Forestine aims to be a star. And Viola, stifled
by her religious upbringing, strains to find freedom. But Forestine's
single-mindedness endangers the one person she really loves, while Viola blindly
finds comfort in a man whose wild ways threaten to consume her. With the help of
Miss Honeybee and her remarkable friends - Willa, known for her talent both in
the kitchen and on the piano, and the outrageous Vernon, who looks more elegant
in a gown than any woman - Forestine and Viola struggle to find the balancing
point where music doesn't overpower love.