“Falls in line with the best of classical Southern fiction…but Ms. Smith’s vision is her own and places her among the best of contemporary Southern writers.
"The Atlanta Constitution"
Beloved North Carolina author Lee Smith was the guest of honor at a gala brunch held in Charlotte recently at the home of Kurt and Sherry Lindquist. Ms. Smith signed copies of her novels, and cut a special Family Linen cake which was a replica of the cover of her famed novel. She spoke glowingly of the screenwriter Ms. Ross and her adaptation of the novel. Ms. Smith said this novel is one of her favorites as it’s dedicated to her husband noted writer and journalist Hal Crowther, and she is just thrilled it’s being made into a movie.
The Lindquists, both prominent attorneys, are longtime friends of Clarinda Ross, a writer, actress and producer who resides in Santa Monica, CA as well as Boone, NC, where she grew up. Ross is the daughter of the late Dr. Carl A. Ross, an acclaimed southern historian, who was chair of the Department of Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University at the time of his death. Her mother Charlotte still teaches at ASU in the Communication Arts Department and is a renowned storyteller of Appalachian tales and legends. Ross was surrounded by southern history, lore and writers growing up. She is best known for her work as playwright and actress in her own critically-acclaimed play FROM MY GRANDMOTHER’S GRANDMOTHER UNTO ME which was made into a film for PBS by director John D. Allen. GRANDMOTHER played to sold out houses at Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto festival and was a featured act in two Cultural Olympiads representing the U. S.A.; Lillehammer, Norway in 1994 and in Atlanta in 1996.
Ross had always admired the writings of celebrated NC author Lee Smith who went to graduate school with her mother Charlotte. Ross who fell in love with the novel FAMILY LINEN while attending college at ASU has written two plays, as well as many essays and short stories. However, she always thought FAMILY LINEN, the story of a group of middle aged siblings grappling with the death of their mother and some surprising revelations, felt cinematic. Ross who admits to having read the novel over 50 times since it was first published in 1984, consulted with author Lee Smith closely throughout the screenwriting process. Ross says, “It was necessary to condense the novel to fit into a cinematic format, some characters had to be combined or eliminated but I feel sure we have preserved the specificity, the southern-ness, the attention to detail that make Lee’s novels so fantastic.”