In The Working Life, Rachel Swarns’ column for The New York Times, Swarns reintroduces readers to Patricia Smith, “Staten Island’s literary sensation, a poet, an English professor and a star on the national stage.”
She’s the same Smith, Swarns writes, who left The Boston Globe in 1998 after admitting to fabrication. Smith doesn’t talk much about that time in her life and asks, basically, to be allowed to move on.
“It’s been 16 years, you know,” said Ms. Smith, 59. “People have to give you a chance to be who you are now.”
Some people who claw their way out of the abyss turn their fall into a strand of their personal narrative. But Ms. Smith does not aspire to be the star of anyone’s tale of reinvention.
Swarns writes about Smith’s work now and the awards she has won. Swarns also spoke with one of Smith’s former colleagues at the Globe. Read more