Oral History, the lyrical saga of a Virginia mountain family, follows four generations of Cantrells over more than a century. With each chapter, Lee Smith, a master of regional voices, adds another branch to a family tree that sings with secrets and sadness, beauty and joy. Researching an assignment for an Oral History course, Jennifer drives to the Virginia hills where her mother and father grew up. Raised by a stepmother, the young college student wonders why her father never talks of her real mother or relatives. So from the moment she steps out of the car, Jennifer is intrigued by the mystery of her heritage. One by one, the Cantrells tell of lives filled with vitality, colored by the land and family history. Through the voices of a full cast of narrators, Lee Smith's remarkable novel becomes a truly extraordinary listening experience.