Literary Nonfiction. Essays. A moving nonfiction debut by Mississippi Delta poet Mike Smith, this memoir-in-essays, AND THERE WAS EVENING AND THERE WAS MORNING: ESSAYS ON ILLNESS, LOSS, AND LOVE, tracks the loss of Smith's first wife to cancer after the birth of the second child, offering a portrait of marriage, family, and tragedy. In honest, and at times darkly comic terms, Smith documents the strange set of coincidences between his first wife's illness and his stepdaughter's similar battle the year his second marriage began, and examines blended families, remarriage, helping children find ways to cope with the loss of a parent, and the influence of spirituality upon loss. Author Tony D'Souza calls Smith "a reflective and precise writer, [who] invites us to walk each step with him as his heart is annihilated." Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling, says, "What a gift Mike Smith has given us... His prose is nuanced, his voice considered and considerate, his wisdom hard-earned but never bitter. There is beauty and solace here and gorgeous imagery. Smith has written a book for all of us who are dying--which is to say, all of us who are living, and our lives will be the better for having read it." Author Julianna Baggott's writes: "What I love most is that this isn't a book about learning to let go but instead learning that the heart can expand to hold more love..."
Mike Smith is a local author who lives in Derbyshire. He writes regular features about people and places for magazines, and is the author of a number of topographical and guide books covering various regions of England and France.