Tanya Long Bennett is a professor of English at University of North Georgia, where she has taught for thirteen years. She earned her PhD in English at University of Tennessee. Her research focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century fiction, as well as gender studies.
Smith's body of work examines the influence of significant factors- such as place, memory, art, tradition, social expectation, media, religion, history, and story-on personal identity. Enriching her treatment of the subject, she explores this issue always with a consciousness of the self's ultimate indeterminability. In twelve novels and four collections of short stories, Smith draws us into a rigorous exploration of the self, the location and essence of which are often sought in a landscape of shifting and imagined markers.