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A Thousand Acres
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Rating
This powerful twentieth-century reimagining of Shakespeare s King Lear centers on a wealthy Iowa farmer who decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. Ambitiously conceived and stunningly written, A Thousand Acrestakes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity."
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About the Author

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, the concluding volume of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of 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.

Reviews

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the NBCC Award for fiction, a BOMC dual main selection and a five-week PW bestseller in cloth, Smiley's novel of family life on an insular Iowa farm raises profound questions about human conduct and moral responsibility. (Nov.)

This important new novel by the author of Ordinary Love and Good Will ( LJ 9/15/89) and The Greenlanders ( LJ 4/15/88) is, first of all, a farm novel. Smiley lovingly creates an idyllic world of family farm life in Iowa in 1979: the neat yard, freshly painted house, clean clothes on the line, and fertile, well-tended fields. The owner of these well-managed acres is Larry Cook, who abruptly decides to turn the farm over to his two eldest daughters and their husbands. Ginny and Ty are hard-working farmers who try to placate her ornery father, while sister Rose and hard-drinking Pete try to stand up to him. Dark secrets surface after the property transfer, and the family's careful world unravels with a grim inevitability reminiscent of Smiley's splendid novella Good Will . Not to be missed. BOMC main selection.-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.

"Brilliant. . . . Absorbing. . . . A thrilling work of art." --Chicago Sun-Times "A family portrait that is also a near-epic investigation into the broad landscape, the thousand dark acres of the human heart. . . . The book has all the stark brutality of a Shakespearean tragedy." --The Washington Post Book World "Powerful and poignant." --The New York Times Book Review "Superb. . . . There seems to be nothing Smiley can't write about fabulously well." --San Francisco Chronicle "It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt. . . . A Thousand Acres [has] the prismatic quality of the greatest art." --Chicago Tribune "Absorbing. . . . Exhilarating. . . . An engrossing piece of fiction." --Time "A full, commanding novel. . . . A story bound and tethered to a lonely road in the Midwest, but drawn from a universal source. . . . Profoundly American." --The Boston Globe

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