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By Beth Kephart and Beth Kephart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 29, 1998
"The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton" by Jane Smiley. Knopf. 452 pages. $26.Upon my shelf of favorite books sits Jane Smiley's "The Age of Grief." I can remember where I was and what I was mourning when I fell upon that book.I can remember how it was for me afterward, how it took weeks for Smiley's characters to dim and recede and for me to stumble back toward life. There was little between Smiley and the reader in "The Age of Grief." There were the brilliant nuances of loss and love, and nothing more.
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NEWS
By Tara Ison and Tara Ison,Los Angeles Times | February 18, 2007
Ten Days in the Hills Jane Smiley Alfred A. Knopf / 452 pages / $26 Here's a story for you: "A group of ten young people over the course of ten days" comes together "in a luxurious retreat from the horrors" of their chaotic society. They discuss "everyday concerns, and uneasiness about, on the one hand, money, and on the other hand, God." This narrative offers "celebrity-named characters in several stories. ... It observes contemporary manners and ideas," and the tales the characters tell "of mutability, of jokes and tricks and miracles, prepare them for their fates as well as distract them."
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ENTERTAINMENT
By A.J. Sherman and A.J. Sherman,Special to the Sun | April 13, 2003
Good Faith, by Jane Smiley. Alfred A. Knopf. 416 pages. $26. The first-person narrative is a tricky genre, especially, as here, where the narrator presents himself as quite ordinary and almost totally insight-free. Joey Stratford, a decent and pleasant American real estate agent, described as "cute" by several women, not overly encumbered with intelligence, stumbles into erotic adventures and the mother of all frauds with a numb passivity unlikely in anyone over voting age. The time is 1982, the setting rural Pennsylvania, but that doesn't excuse Joey's terminal innocence, or his singular lack of affect.
NEWS
December 11, 2005
Fiction Scorpion's Gate By Richard A. Clarke Typhoon Lover By Sujata Massey Missing Mom By Joyce Carol Oates Third Girl from the Left By Martha Southgate Everyone Worth Knowing By Lauren Weisberger Nonfiction Lennon Revealed By Larry Kane Cat People By Michael Korda and Margaret Korda 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus By Charles Mann I Can't Believe She Did That: Why Women Betray Other Women At Work By Nan Mooney ...
FEATURES
By Tim Warren and Tim Warren,Book Editor | February 17, 1992
"A Thousand Acres," Jane Smiley's novel about a troubled Iowa farm family, has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, it was announced yesterday.Susan Faludi's "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Woman," much-discussed work that has been a best-seller as well, won in the general non-fiction category.Philip Roth's "Patrimony: A True Story," a moving elegy to his father, took the prize in biography/autobiography. That category was especially competitive: Nominees included "The Journals of John Cheever," Art Spiegelman's "Maus II" and "The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan," a biography of an Indian mathematical prodigy that was written by Baltimore author Robert Kanigel.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,COX NEWS SERVICE | September 19, 1997
It's understandable that two of Hollywood's most acclaimed actresses would want their production companies to adapt "A Thousand Acres," Jane Smiley's epic family saga that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991.The novel, based on "King Lear" with the contemporary twist of being told from the daughters' point of view, lucidly rendered a family's connection to its Iowa farmland, its individual loyalties and betrayals and its collective secret history.This is such stuff as Oscars are made of.Or should be. Jocelyn Moorehouse's filmed adaptation turns out to be a flaccid re-treading of the original work, made watchable only by a ferocious performance from Michelle Pfeiffer and an equally terrifying turn by Jason Robards as an indomitable patriarch coming undone.
NEWS
By Clea Simon and Clea Simon,BOSTON GLOBE | November 12, 1995
What's all the rage? Harper's Katie Roiphe spends a considerable effort this month documenting the incidence of incest in contemporary fiction. With examples drawn from Jane Smiley, Russell Banks and others, she proves her observation to be sharp, but her conclusions leave much lacking.The frequency, she says, proves a trend, and the trend, she figures, is reason for the frequency. We've become a nation of voyeurs and, she decides, of soul-baring weaklings searching for cheap thrills in the headlines.
NEWS
December 11, 2005
Fiction Scorpion's Gate By Richard A. Clarke Typhoon Lover By Sujata Massey Missing Mom By Joyce Carol Oates Third Girl from the Left By Martha Southgate Everyone Worth Knowing By Lauren Weisberger Nonfiction Lennon Revealed By Larry Kane Cat People By Michael Korda and Margaret Korda 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus By Charles Mann I Can't Believe She Did That: Why Women Betray Other Women At Work By Nan Mooney ...
NEWS
By Dave Edelman | June 5, 1995
MOO. By Jane Smiley. Alfred A. Knopf. 414 pages. $24.AFTER shoehorning a vast critique of Western patriarchal society into a single Iowa farm with her "A Thousand Acres," you'd think Jane Smiley might take a bit of a breather. An intimate, toned-down, between-blockbusters, single-nighter of a book would have fit just perfectly in the Pulitzer Prize winner's canon now.Well, perhaps "Moo" is Jane Smiley's version of getting down to the basics. Instead of tackling the inherent problems in our entire cultural ethos, she's only chosen a modest slice of it to dissect, namely the 1980s.
NEWS
By Helen Chappell and Helen Chappell,Special to The Sun | March 26, 1995
"Moo," by Jane Smiley. 414 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $24.The economic inclination of the publishing industry to forsake literary fiction in favor of trendy, trashy genre novels may not signal the decline and fall of Western Civilization, but it does not bode well for the future of the serious novel. So, it's good to see Jane Smiley, a most serious novelist, prospering. Her last book won a Pulitzer. "A Thousand Acres," a re-telling of King Lear, was as harsh as the wind blowing across her Midwestern landscapes.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jody Jaffe and Jody Jaffe,Special to the Sun | May 2, 2004
A Year at the Races, by Jane Smiley. Knopf. 284 pages. $22. Reading Jane Smiley's A Year at the Races made me fall in love with horses all over again. It's a meandering ride through Smiley's quirky and complex thoughts. She's like a giant parabolic antenna, catching all sorts of esoteric information and applying it to horses and their relationships with humans. Smiley pulls from sources as varied as Hamlet and Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and her insights and observations are invigorating.
ENTERTAINMENT
By A.J. Sherman and A.J. Sherman,Special to the Sun | April 13, 2003
Good Faith, by Jane Smiley. Alfred A. Knopf. 416 pages. $26. The first-person narrative is a tricky genre, especially, as here, where the narrator presents himself as quite ordinary and almost totally insight-free. Joey Stratford, a decent and pleasant American real estate agent, described as "cute" by several women, not overly encumbered with intelligence, stumbles into erotic adventures and the mother of all frauds with a numb passivity unlikely in anyone over voting age. The time is 1982, the setting rural Pennsylvania, but that doesn't excuse Joey's terminal innocence, or his singular lack of affect.
NEWS
By Beth Kephart and Beth Kephart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 29, 1998
"The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton" by Jane Smiley. Knopf. 452 pages. $26.Upon my shelf of favorite books sits Jane Smiley's "The Age of Grief." I can remember where I was and what I was mourning when I fell upon that book.I can remember how it was for me afterward, how it took weeks for Smiley's characters to dim and recede and for me to stumble back toward life. There was little between Smiley and the reader in "The Age of Grief." There were the brilliant nuances of loss and love, and nothing more.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,COX NEWS SERVICE | September 19, 1997
It's understandable that two of Hollywood's most acclaimed actresses would want their production companies to adapt "A Thousand Acres," Jane Smiley's epic family saga that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1991.The novel, based on "King Lear" with the contemporary twist of being told from the daughters' point of view, lucidly rendered a family's connection to its Iowa farmland, its individual loyalties and betrayals and its collective secret history.This is such stuff as Oscars are made of.Or should be. Jocelyn Moorehouse's filmed adaptation turns out to be a flaccid re-treading of the original work, made watchable only by a ferocious performance from Michelle Pfeiffer and an equally terrifying turn by Jason Robards as an indomitable patriarch coming undone.
NEWS
By Clea Simon and Clea Simon,BOSTON GLOBE | November 12, 1995
What's all the rage? Harper's Katie Roiphe spends a considerable effort this month documenting the incidence of incest in contemporary fiction. With examples drawn from Jane Smiley, Russell Banks and others, she proves her observation to be sharp, but her conclusions leave much lacking.The frequency, she says, proves a trend, and the trend, she figures, is reason for the frequency. We've become a nation of voyeurs and, she decides, of soul-baring weaklings searching for cheap thrills in the headlines.
NEWS
By Dave Edelman | June 5, 1995
MOO. By Jane Smiley. Alfred A. Knopf. 414 pages. $24.AFTER shoehorning a vast critique of Western patriarchal society into a single Iowa farm with her "A Thousand Acres," you'd think Jane Smiley might take a bit of a breather. An intimate, toned-down, between-blockbusters, single-nighter of a book would have fit just perfectly in the Pulitzer Prize winner's canon now.Well, perhaps "Moo" is Jane Smiley's version of getting down to the basics. Instead of tackling the inherent problems in our entire cultural ethos, she's only chosen a modest slice of it to dissect, namely the 1980s.
NEWS
By Rebecca Warburton Boylan | December 22, 1991
A THOUSAND ACRES.Jane Smiley.Knopf.371 pages. $23.The strength of Jane Smiley's craftsmanship lies in her character development. You think about the characters long after reading her novels, being not quite sure if you read about them or actually lived next door to them.This is not to say they are ordinary and well-adjusted nor intensely melodramatic. Ms. Smiley's characters are, in fact, tragic both in the Aristotelian sense of having serious flaws that cause them wrenching sorrows, and in the fatalistic sense of being the victims of the disorder of Nature.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jody Jaffe and Jody Jaffe,Special to the Sun | May 2, 2004
A Year at the Races, by Jane Smiley. Knopf. 284 pages. $22. Reading Jane Smiley's A Year at the Races made me fall in love with horses all over again. It's a meandering ride through Smiley's quirky and complex thoughts. She's like a giant parabolic antenna, catching all sorts of esoteric information and applying it to horses and their relationships with humans. Smiley pulls from sources as varied as Hamlet and Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, and her insights and observations are invigorating.
NEWS
By Helen Chappell and Helen Chappell,Special to The Sun | March 26, 1995
"Moo," by Jane Smiley. 414 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $24.The economic inclination of the publishing industry to forsake literary fiction in favor of trendy, trashy genre novels may not signal the decline and fall of Western Civilization, but it does not bode well for the future of the serious novel. So, it's good to see Jane Smiley, a most serious novelist, prospering. Her last book won a Pulitzer. "A Thousand Acres," a re-telling of King Lear, was as harsh as the wind blowing across her Midwestern landscapes.
FEATURES
By Tim Warren and Tim Warren,Book Editor | February 17, 1992
"A Thousand Acres," Jane Smiley's novel about a troubled Iowa farm family, has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, it was announced yesterday.Susan Faludi's "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Woman," much-discussed work that has been a best-seller as well, won in the general non-fiction category.Philip Roth's "Patrimony: A True Story," a moving elegy to his father, took the prize in biography/autobiography. That category was especially competitive: Nominees included "The Journals of John Cheever," Art Spiegelman's "Maus II" and "The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan," a biography of an Indian mathematical prodigy that was written by Baltimore author Robert Kanigel.
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