Some Luck: Jane Smiley

When I was in eighth grade my history teacher wrote on my report card: “She only does what she wants to do.” She thought that was a bad thing, and it’s not.

Jane Smiley won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for her novel A Thousand Acres, a retelling of King Lear transplanted to 20th-century Iowa. She joined us at the shop to read from her latest novel, Some Luck (Mantle), the first book in a projected trilogy which returns to rural Iowa in the 1920s. Charlotte Mendelson wrote of the book: ‘So here it is at last, the Great American Novel and, in retrospect, it seems obvious that the great Jane Smiley would be the one who wrote it.’

Jane Smiley spoke in conversation with Alex Clark.