Classic Views of American Life: Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Fiction

Jane Smiley, 1949-

A Thousand Acres


  • Born in Los Angeles; grew up in St. Louis
  • Educated at Vassar College (B.A.) and the University of Iowa (M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D.).
  • Currently lives in northern California.  Married three times with two children from her second marriage and one from her third.


  • Taught at Iowa State University from 1981 until 1992. Retired from teaching to devote her time to writing.
  • Received the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Heartland Award in 1991 for A Thousand Acres.

Major Writings

Barn Blind: A Novel. (1980)
At Paradise Gate: A Novel (1981)
Duplicate Keys (1984), mystery novel
Age of Grief
The Greenlanders (1989)
Ordinary Love/Good Will (1989)
A Thousand Acres (1992)
Duplicate Keys (1993)
Moo (1995)
The All-True Travels and Adventures of Linda Newton (1998)

Critical Sources and Reviews

  • For online reviews of the novel, see The New York Times, October 31, 1991 and November 3, 1991:  "Books of the Times: On an Iowa Farm, a Tragedy with Echoes of Lear" by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt and "King Lear in Zebulon County" by Ron Carlson, [book archive search: "Thousand Acres"]
  • For printed reviews, see, in addition, The Chicago Tribune Books, November 3, 1991 and November 24, 1991 and The Washington Post, October 27, 1991.
  • Gale Database: Contemporary Authors
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 78, Gale.
  • Daughters and Fathers in Feminist Novels, Barbara H. Sheldon, 1997.

Retired Discussion Series

Debbie Sturman, Director
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Phone: 307-334-3490
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