If you were a novelist, what compliment would you most like to see in a review of your work? A comparison to Tolstoy, perhaps? That compliment was in fact given in the British newspaper, the Guardian, in a review of Jane Smiley’s novel Early Warnings, the second in a trilogy set in Iowa. The reviewer, English novelist Christobel Kent, wrote that Smiley’s “faultless skill” in bringing a large set of characters to life, her “feeling for territory and landscape,” and her “combination of impatient intellect, emotional perspicacity and unfailing humanity” were reminiscent of the Russian master. I agree!
Jane Smiley, Early Warnings (New York: Anchor Books, 2016). p. 45.