Tag Archives: Jane Smiley

Five Best Novels of 2016

The five novels that rose to the top of my 2016 list are: The best word to describe Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton is exquisite. What I love about Strout is her ability to dive right in to … Continue reading

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“Felicity rubbed a bit between her fingers. It was gray, just grit.”

This is how the great-granddaughter of Iowa farmers Walter and Rosanna Langdon describes what’s left of the topsoil on the original family farm when she visits it in the closing pages of The Last Hundred Years Trilogy by Jane Smiley.  … Continue reading

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“Rosa was a perfect example of an only child, thought Claire – she behaved herself, but it was because she was always on the stage and the lights were always up. “

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 … Continue reading

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“The perennial question of motherhood, Eloise thought, was how honest to be.”

This is the first book in a trilogy about a farm family in Iowa.  It begins in 1920 and runs for a hundred years, with a chapter per year. I’m among its many fans. As the LA Times says, the … Continue reading

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