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Guests on Earth

About the Book

Guests on Earth

Evalina Toussaint, the orphaned child of an exotic dancer in New Orleans, is just 13 when she is admitted to Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. The year is 1936, and the mental hospital is under the direction of the celebrated psychiatrist Robert S. Carroll. His innovative program of treatment for mental and nervous disorders and addictions is based on exercise, diet, art, and occupational therapies --- and experimental shock therapy.
Evalina finds herself in the company of some notable fellow patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald, estranged wife of F. Scott, who takes the young piano prodigy under her wing. Evalina becomes the accompanist for the musical programs at the hospital. This provides privileged insight into the events that transpire over the next 12 years, culminating in a tragic fire --- its mystery unsolved to this day --- that killed nine women in a locked ward, Zelda among them. At all costs, Evalina listens, observes, remembers --- and tells us everything.
GUESTS ON EARTH is a mesmerizing novel about a time and a place where creativity and passion, theory and medicine, fact and fiction, are luminously intertwined by a writer at the height of her craft.

Guests on Earth
by Lee Smith

  • Publication Date: May 13, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: A Shannon Ravenel Book
  • ISBN-10: 1616203803
  • ISBN-13: 9781616203801