A teenage girl befriends Zelda Fitzgerald in a Southern mental hospital in this "elegant historical novel" by the New York Times–bestselling author (The Washington Post).
It's 1936 when orphaned thirteen-year-old Evalina Toussaint is admitted to Highland Hospital, a mental institution in Asheville, North Carolina, known for its innovative treatments for nervous disorders and addictions. Taken under the wing of the hospital's most notable patient—the famous author and iconic flapper Zelda Fitzgerald—Evalina witnesses cascading events that lead inexorably to the tragic hospital fire of 1948 that killed nine women in a locked ward, Zelda among them.
In Guests on Earth, award-winning author Lee Smith seamlessly blends fiction and fact to conjure a mesmerizing world apart—in which art and madness are luminously intertwined.
"A carefully researched, utterly charming novel." —The Washington Post
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