This book examines the way in which Lee Smith has given voice to all aspects of their experience both as a woman-artist living in contemporary America as a native of Appalachia, a southern region that still retains a strong sense of oral tradition and community links. Smith reviewed and altered the language and myths that have conditioned their search for identity and their voices have been silenced. By so doing, explores the relationship between female heroism and creativity of women as distinct from men's. In their struggle, Smith heroines reflect personal and artistic development of the writer. The troubled relationship of her female characters with self-assertion and the world of Appalachia reveals Smith ambivalent feelings towards the concept of individuality and to their cultural roots.