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Jane Smiley

Autor(a) de A Thousand Acres

54+ Works 23,372 Membros 704 Reviews 63 Favorited
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About the Author

Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California on September 26, 1949. She received a B. A. from Vassar College in 1971 and an M.F.A. and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa. From 1981 to 1996, she taught undergraduate and graduate creative writing workshops at Iowa State University. Her books mostrar mais include The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Moo, Horse Heaven, Ordinary Love and Good Will, Some Luck, and Early Warning. In 1985, she won an O. Henry Award for her short story Lily, which was published in The Atlantic Monthly. A Thousand Acres received both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Elena Seibert


Obras de Jane Smiley

A Thousand Acres (1991) 6,187 cópias
Moo (1995) 2,548 cópias
Some Luck (2014) 1,266 cópias
Horse Heaven (2000) 1,175 cópias
The Greenlanders (1988) 1,142 cópias
Good Faith (2003) 896 cópias
Private Life (2010) 737 cópias
Duplicate Keys (1984) 727 cópias
Ten Days in the Hills (2007) 647 cópias
Early Warning (2015) 577 cópias
The Age of Grief (1987) 556 cópias
Ordinary Love and Good Will (1989) 509 cópias
Golden Age (2015) 435 cópias
Barn Blind (1979) 388 cópias
Charles Dickens (2002) 366 cópias
Perestroika in Paris (2020) 342 cópias
At Paradise Gate (1981) 309 cópias
The Best American Short Stories 1995 (1995) — Editor — 302 cópias
A Dangerous Business (2022) 301 cópias
Twenty Yawns (2016) 242 cópias
The Georges and the Jewels (2009) 220 cópias
Pie in the Sky (2012) 61 cópias
Gee Whiz (2013) 42 cópias
Lucky (2024) 32 cópias
A Thousand Acres [1997 film] (1997) — Autor — 28 cópias
The Hillside (2018) 25 cópias
The Strays of Paris (2020) 22 cópias
Riding Lessons (2018) 16 cópias
Lucky (2024) 14 cópias
Saddles & Secrets (2019) 6 cópias
Taking the Reins (2020) 5 cópias
Schön, dass du hier bist (1987) 2 cópias
In den Jahren der Trauer (1987) 1 exemplar(es)
Un métier dangereux 1 exemplar(es)
The Saga of Icelanders 1 exemplar(es)
La edad de la aflicción 1 exemplar(es)
Mood of Christmas 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

Little Women (1868) — Introdução, algumas edições26,620 cópias
The Mill on the Floss (1860) — Posfácio, algumas edições8,758 cópias
Of Human Bondage (1915) — Introdução, algumas edições8,488 cópias
The Return of the Native (1878) — Introdução, algumas edições7,950 cópias
Crossing to Safety (1987) — Introdução, algumas edições4,283 cópias
Nancy's Mysterious Letter (1932) — Introdução, algumas edições2,721 cópias
The Sagas of Icelanders (1997) — Prefácio — 2,478 cópias
The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction (1983) — Contribuinte — 1,136 cópias
The Balkan Trilogy (1960) — Introdução, algumas edições1,112 cópias
The Fish Can Sing (1966) — Introdução, algumas edições645 cópias
The Moonflower Vine (1962) — Prefácio, algumas edições622 cópias
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from the New York Times (2001) — Contribuinte — 447 cópias
Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 (2014) — Prefácio — 383 cópias
Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking (1979) — Preface, algumas edições355 cópias
School for Love (1951) — Introdução, algumas edições277 cópias
First Fiction: An Anthology of the First Published Stories by Famous Writers (1994) — Contribuinte; Introdução — 183 cópias
Me, My Hair, and I: Twenty-seven Women Untangle an Obsession (2015) — Contribuinte — 142 cópias
The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty (1999) — Contribuinte — 105 cópias
The Granta Book of the American Long Story (1822) — Contribuinte — 99 cópias
The Best American Short Stories 1985 (1985) — Contribuinte — 61 cópias
Marta Oulie: A Novel of Betrayal (1907) — Introdução, algumas edições58 cópias
The Good Parts: The Best Erotic Writing in Modern Fiction (2000) — Contribuinte — 34 cópias
Antaeus No. 75/76, Autumn 1994 - The Final Issue (1994) — Contribuinte — 32 cópias
Horse Stories (2012) — Contribuinte — 16 cópias
Journeys (1996) — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)


19th century (714) 20th century (391) American (492) American fiction (218) American literature (693) anthology (316) British (270) British literature (299) children's (405) children's literature (223) Civil War (306) classic (1,660) classic literature (227) classics (1,776) coming of age (265) ebook (304) England (226) English literature (374) essays (235) family (702) fiction (8,979) historical fiction (722) history (235) Iowa (253) Kindle (303) literature (1,335) mystery (352) Nancy Drew (261) non-fiction (440) novel (1,388) own (359) read (740) romance (237) short stories (470) sisters (389) to-read (3,364) unread (413) USA (253) writing (417) young adult (306)

Conhecimento Comum



What It’s Like to Have Your Book Banned em Banned Books (Fevereiro 21)
Jane Smiley: American Author Challenge em 75 Books Challenge for 2016 (Abril 2016)
June 2011 Read: Private Life em Missouri Readers (Junho 2011)


Lucy and her mom and dad have a good long day at the beach, and that night Lucy's mom falls asleep while reading to her. But Lucy needs her bear, Molasses, to go to sleep, so she ventures through the house in the dark to find it.

A sweet, cozy story, relatable and not too scary.
JennyArch | outras 10 resenhas | May 13, 2024 |
A Dangerous Business is a book in the midst of an identity crisis. Eliza Ripple and her friend Jean are prostitutes in a rather lawless historical Monterey, California. At once a murder mystery, a bit of a feminist manifesto, and a historical period peace, A Dangerous Business seems to be doing too much and would probably have benefited from a little more focus. The main characters' obsession with Poe and their clumsy investigation of the murders, which is marked by a strange lack of urgency, was the weakest part of the narrative.

It succeeds more as a historical piece. 1850s Monterey comes to life in Smiley's hands, with the help of Eliza's narration and the stories of her various customers. Smiley handles Eliza's line of work gently and manages to make it interesting rather than lurid. With a little more investment in her two main characters, the lackluster mystery and its investigation would hardly have been needed.
… (mais)
yourotherleft | outras 28 resenhas | May 12, 2024 |
What an incredible book; it is definitely going down on my list of best books for 2024. I knew by the end of the first chapter that I was going to love it, and I did partly because of the writing, but also because I understand how some inheritances can cause friction in families.

Three sisters, Ginny, Rose and Caroline were raised on a farm, 1000 acres, by their father after their mother had died. Many years later at a family gathering, their father announced that he was giving the farm over to his daughters which Rose and Ginny accepted but Caroline asked to think about it. In a fit of pique, their father cut her out of the will and handed the farm over to the two sisters and their husbands, both of whom worked on it. And, it is at this point that you know things are going to go downhill.

If this plot sounds familiar to you, it is because Smiley has hung her plot on King Lear. Lear leaves his kingdom to the two daughters who flatter him through their behaviour and inability to stand up to him, cutting out of his inheritance his third daughter who was the only one that truly loved him. This all happened as he slowly sank into madness.

Ginny and Rose had lives that must at times have felt overwhelming. They cleaned and cooked in their own houses and then went over to their father's to do his house work and also helped on the farm. The cleaning was not just a bit of dusting but full-scale taking down of curtains to wash and starch them and moving furniture to hoover underneath (?!). In reality, this obsessive cleaning was a way to restore order in their lives which were really in chaos. They both had marriages that weren't working, Rose had breast cancer and Ginny had had five miscarriages. The story is told through Ginny's eyes and she is drawn as someone who always wants to give people the benefit of the doubt, to restore harmony, whilst Rose is a fighter, standing up for herself and her children and facing reality. This difference in attitude also leads to differing memories of their father.

Rose remembers that he beat them and sexually abused them whilst Ginny has pushed these memories from her mind. Eventually, through a series of every day events and domestic chores, Ginny recalls these events and realises the damage her father has caused. Caroline, who was protected from her father by her sisters, refuses to contenance anything anything such as this and has a relationship with her father that is oblivious. Hinted at in the book is the idea that her father may also have been a victim of sexual abuse.

What is portrayed vividly is the difference between appearances and reality. Everything that happened to the family Ginny viewed through the filter of wondering what the neighbours would think. A 'good' farm was one that was well-maintained and tidy with everyone judged by this standard, with wives judged by their ability to keep the farm out of the house. There were people who pretended to be friends of the family but really weren't with the pastor being one of these people. There were the missing emotions and sex in their marriages which appeared on the surface to be working but weren't and in the end there was the gap between Rose and Ginny over a man, Jess, who like a prodigal son had returned home after being away for over a dceade. Both women slept with him but Rose was clear about his behaviours where Ginny wasn't. To Ginny, he was a man who wanted to farm differently, who noticed her and for whom sex was more than the creation of a child. To Rose he was a man obsessed with eating the right things, meditating at the exact rise of the sun and running - as if farm work weren't physical enough.

Their father was seen in the community as one of the best farmer (neat and tidy), wise and dependable but of course the daughters knew the reality behind closed doors. This is what happens when families keep secrets. The reality ends up being so different from the appearance and there were a lot of secrets in this family.

Smiley's writing is wonderful: precise, descriptive and structured for effect. There are several shocking events towards the end of the book with each one having a lengthy build up only for the event to be over and done with in one short paragraph, leaving you slightly winded. Her descriptions of place and community make me think that she must have lived a rural life herself.

This is a book about families and relationships, about the damage secrets can do, about order and chaos, about inheritance and fairness but what Smiley has slyly done is inject a theme of eco-awareness into the book.

At the start, the descriptions of the place are grounding and almost idyllic. There is a long section where we read about the land and the swamp that it is but, as in so much of America, the land was drained by manually digging trenches and laying tiles and pipes to take the water down to the well. It was these trenches that allowed the family to farm the land but also allowed herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers to run with the water into the well and poison all who drank the water causing cancer and miscarriages. It is a very Shakespearean idea to prosper and kill from the same event.

I am no the lookout for more of Smiley's work.
… (mais)
allthegoodbooks | outras 136 resenhas | May 7, 2024 |
(Print: April (?) 1980)
(Digital: Yes.)
Audio: 1998, 5/2/2008; 9781449871833; Recorded Books Incorporated; Duration 7:36:59 (9 parts); Unabridged.
(Film: No).


CHARACTERS: (Not comprehensive)
Kate Karlson – Anti-hero main character
Axle Karlson – Husband to Kate
Henry Karlson – Youngest son of Kate and Axel
John Karlson – Middle son of Kate and Axel
Peter Karlson – Oldest son of Kate and Axel
Margaret Karlson – Oldest child of Kate and Axel

The preface of this book seems to be a necessary element so that the reader is forewarned that the primary character isn’t going to be particularly likable. I know authors like to get at reality by revealing the foibles of their characters, but I need to like at least one character who has more than a peripheral role. True, I like the daughter, for the most part, but for me, toward the end, she does not act in a manner consistent to the character she’s been described to be. The youngest boy is likable, as is the father/husband of the family. But the story revolves more around an insensitive mother and the child most frustrated by her character, whose own character is warped in consequence.
I liked learning about horse riding. I never knew a good rider learns about the anatomy of a horse and synchronizes his/her own posture to correspond with what the horse’s optimal posture would be. But still, I prefer, if a story is going to have dark weight, that it have strong counterbalances of hope, joy, or love. A, mostly silent, saintly husband whose love strives toward unconditionality doesn’t fill that ticket for me. I need stories to have more heart.
This was Jane’s first novel, according to Wikipedia, though. I picked it because a friend of mine is devoted to this author. She recommended a later trilogy, but I figured since I generally agree with my friend about what is good, that I might want to take this author one book at a time chronologically. I don’t think I do now, but I should read the trilogy my friend recommended. I will probably wait though, until all of my other holds have been consumed.

Jane Smiley (Sept. 26, 1949). According to Wikipedia, Jane is an American novelist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 for her 1991 novel, “A Thousand Acres”.
In the section captioned “Biography”, Wikipedia says, “Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and graduated from Community School and from John Burroughs School. She obtained a BA in literature at Vassar College (1971), then earned an MA (1975), MFA (1976), and PhD (1978) from the University of Iowa.[2] While working toward her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar. From 1981 to 1996 she was a Professor of English at Iowa State University,[2] teaching undergraduate and graduate creative writing workshops. In 1996, she relocated to California. She returned to teaching creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, in 2015.”

Suzanne Toren. According to Penguin Random Audio House .com, “Suzanna Toren is one of the shining stars in the world of Audiobook recording. A prolific talent, Toren has been narrarating for more than 30 years. Winner of multiple awards, Toren is the recipient of the American Foundation for the Blind's Alexander Scourby Narrator of the Year Award in 1988 and AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction and Culture. Toren has worked on books written by Jane Smiley, Margaret Weis, Jerry Spinelli, Barbara Kingsolver, and Cynthia Rylant.”
Suzanne’s voice brings to mind the unpleasant character of Jane Karlson, so I won’t be tracking her works down, but I do suspect once I hear her voice in a different light, I will get over it.


Illinois horse ranch


fiction, dysfunctional family, family relations, horses, horse riding, horse competitions

3rd Person Omniscient

From Part One
“The verdant pastures of a farm in Illinois have the placid charm of a landscaped painting. But the horses that graze there have become the obsession of a woman who sees them as the fulfillment of every wish. To win. To be honored. To be the best. Her ambition is the galvanizing force that will drive a wedge between her and her family and just possibly bring them all to tragedy.”

3 stars. Probably seeing this book in print would have alleviated this complaint, but I was often unsure who was talking (or thinking), and whether there had been a lapse of time.

6/7/2021 – 6/21/2021
… (mais)
TraSea | outras 9 resenhas | Apr 29, 2024 |


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