Laura Lee Smith in conversation with Xhenet Aliu: THE ICE HOUSE

Event date: 
Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Event Location

493 Prince Ave.
Athens, GA 30601

Avid Bookshop presents Laura Lee Smith, author of The Ice House, in conversation with author Xhenet Aliu on Thursday, January 18, from 6-7p.m. at our Prince Ave. location. This event is open and free to the public, and we encourage you to purchase a copy of The Ice House and get it signed at the event!


From a writer who's been praised for her "intelligence, heart, wit" (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls), The Ice House follows the beleaguered MacKinnons as they weather the possible loss of the family business, a serious medical diagnosis, and the slings and arrows of familial discord.

Johnny MacKinnon might be on the verge of losing it all. The ice factory he married into, which he's run for decades, is facing devastating OSHA fines following a mysterious accident and may have to close. The only hope for Johnny's livelihood is that someone in the community saw something, but no one seems to be coming forward. He hasn't spoken to his son Corran back in Scotland since Corran's heroin addiction finally drove Johnny to the breaking point. And now, after a collapse on the factory floor, it appears Johnny may have a brain tumor. Johnny's been ordered to take it easy, but in some ways, he thinks, what's left to lose? This may be his last chance to bridge the gap with Corran--and to have any sort of relationship with the baby granddaughter he's never met.

Witty and heartbreaking by turns, The Ice House is a vibrant portrait of multifaceted, exquisitely human characters that readers will not soon forget. It firmly establishes Laura Lee Smith as a gifted voice in American fiction.


Laura Lee Smith is the author of two novels: The Ice House (December 5, 2017) and Heart of Palm (2013), both from Grove Press. Her short fiction was selected by guest editor T.C. Boyle for inclusion in Best American Short Stories 2015 and by guest editor Amy Hempel for inclusion in New Stories From the South: The Year's Best, 2010. Her work has also appeared in New England Review, The Florida Review, Natural Bridge, Bayou, and other journals, and she is a frequent contributor to Swamp Radio. She works as an advertising copywriter.

Xhenet Aliu holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and an MLIS from the University of Alabama, where she was an ALFA fellow, studying methods of delivering information services to individuals with disabilities. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, whose brass industry attracted large waves of Eastern European immigrants before the demise of the factories in the 1970s and ’80s, she was born to an Albanian father and a Lithuanian American mother. She now lives in Athens, Georgia, and works as an academic librarian. Her debut novel, Brass, from Random House, comes out January 2018.

Staff Pick Badge
The Ice House By Laura Lee Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802127082
Availability: In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in 5-10 business days. (Currently not on our shelves.)
Published: Grove Press - December 5th, 2017

Staff Pick Badge
Brass: A Novel By Xhenet Aliu Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399590245
Availability: May take several months to arrive, if available from publisher
Published: Random House - January 23rd, 2018

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