Book cover for The Sum of Trifles by Julia Ridley Smith. Image of a white, laser-cut china cup sitting on top of an upside-down white, laser-cut china cup.
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“A profound and engaging meditation on personal possessions…” Suzanne Van Atten, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Recommended for anyone who has lost a parent, for lovers and wranglers of ephemera, for amateur epistemologists, and for incorrigible musers.” Kelly K. Ferguson, Indyweek

“In beautiful writing that doesn’t hide from hard truths, Smith brings us a clear-eyed view of her family, herself, and the Southern culture that shaped them all.” Mary Lambeth Moore, Our State Magazine

“Smith is a sensitive and nuanced storyteller, so that the very intimate curiosities of her family’s life become a bridge for understanding grief more generally. . . . Her careful treatment of things inherited—both tangible and internal—is a sympathetic ode to the vibrant stories that live on, even when the people who lived in them have gone.” Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword Reviews

The Sum of Trifles, is an examination of profound loss, first the loss of beloved parents, then the loss of the world they created, and then, by extension, the loss of the myths that world embraced. But this is neither a lament nor a tragedy: it is, rather, a revelation arrived at by a stubborn intellect who has the grace, wit, and good sense to know what’s right and how much better the world could, and should, be.” Ron Tanner, West Branch


Interview with Zoë Bossiere, New Books Network podcast

“Objects to Think With: A Conversation with Julia Ridley Smith” Molly Sentell Haile, The Adroit Journal

“Julia Ridley Smith’s ‘The Sum of Trifles’: Accumulation of Meaning Through Objects” Jeannine Burgdorf, Chicago Review of Books

Interview for the series Non-fiction by Non-Men by E.B. Bartels Ashley Trebisacci, Fiction Advocate

Noticed by

The Globe and Mail

Southern Review of Books



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