Lillian Smith

Finalist, 1950 National Book Awards

Lillian Smith was an outspoken southern liberal whose work focused on dismantling the racist, segregationist policies of the United States at a time when it was extremely unpopular and even dangerous to do so. In 1944, she wrote Strange Fruit, a novel about a bi-racial love affair in small town Georgia. The book was banned in Boston a month after its publication and the U.S. Postal Service refused to ship Strange Fruit until Eleanor Roosevelt intervened and convinced her husband to lift the mail ban.
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Killers of the Dream

first edition cover of killers of the dream by lillian smith
ISBN 9780393008845 W. W. Norton / W. W. Norton

A Southern white writer, educator, and activist, Lillian Smith (1897–1966) spoke out all her life against injustice. In Killers of the Dream (1949), her most influential book, she draws on memories of her childhood to describe the psychological and moral cost of the powerful, contradictory rules about sin, sex, and segregation—the intricate system of taboos—that undergirded Southern society. More about this book >

Full Bio

Lillian Smith

Lillian Smith was an outspoken southern liberal whose work focused on dismantling the racist, segregationist policies of the United States at a time when it was extremely unpopular and even dangerous to do so. In 1944, she wrote Strange Fruit, a novel about a bi-racial love affair in small town Georgia. The book was banned in Boston a month after its publication and the U.S. Postal Service refused to ship Strange Fruit until Eleanor Roosevelt intervened and convinced her husband to lift the mail ban.

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