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Jane Smiley biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley Biography

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and the Last Hundred Years Trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is the author as well of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.



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Interview

Jane Smiley discusses the inspiration for her novels Horse Heaven (2000), Good Faith (2003) and Private Life (2010).

In three separate interviews Jane Smiley discusses the inspiration for her novels Horse Heaven (2000), Good Faith (2003) and Private Life (2010)....

A Conversation with Jane Smiley about
her novel Private Life

Q: Some of the characters in Private Life are based in part on members of your own family—your main character Margaret Mayfield on your great aunt, Frances See and Andrew Early on her infamous scientist husband Thomas Jefferson Jackson See, a naval astronomer whose increasingly implausible theories made him an outcast in the scientific community. Did you ever meet them?

A: I didn't know my aunt at all, or her husband. She died when I was about two or three. She was my grandfather's much older sister—he was the youngest of ten children and she was number two or three. But my mother and her siblings were quite fond of her. As for her husband, they thought he was just an eccentric family uncle, and I don't think they realized how infamous he was in the physics establishment.
 
Q: How much of Margaret and Andrew draw from your aunt and uncle's actual experience and how much is purely fictional?

A: There were only a few family stories that revealed personal details about ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jane Smiley at BookBrowse
A Dangerous Business jacket Golden Age jacket Some Luck jacket The Man Who Invented the Computer jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jane Smiley but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Good Faith

    Try:
    In the Kitchen
    by Monica Ali

  • Sarah Blake

    Sarah Blake

    Sarah Blake is an American writer. Her debut novel Grange House, set in Victorian era Maine, was published in 2001. Her second, The Postmistress, a story set in Second World War Massachusetts and London, was published in 2010... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Private Life

    Try:
    The Postmistress
    by Sarah Blake

We recommend 34 similar authors

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Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Horse
    Horse
    by Geraldine Brooks
    Voted 2022 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Geraldine Brooks creates a ...
  • Book Jacket: In Love
    In Love
    by Amy Bloom
    Voted 2022 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. In 2019, author Amy Bloom and her...
  • Book Jacket: Remarkably Bright Creatures
    Remarkably Bright Creatures
    by Shelby Van Pelt
    Voted 2022 Best Debut Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, ...

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