Charles Dickens : A Penguin Life (Hardcover)

Author: Smiley, Jane

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Product Overview

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres offers an intriguing portrait of the nineteenth-century English author, offering a sensitive profile of Dickenss life, incisive interpretations of his major works, and a study of his narrative techniques, themes, characters, and style. 25,000 first printing. *Author: Smiley, Jane *Series Title: Penguin Lives *Publication Date: 2002/05/01 *Number of Pages: 212 *Binding Type: Hardbound *Language: English *Depth: 1.00 *Width: 5.50 *Height: 7.75

Specifications

Publisher Penguin Group USA
Mfg Part# 9780670030774
SKU 30888959
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0670030775
Release Date 4/10/2007
Author Info
Jane Smiley
An only child, Jane Smiley grew up outside St. Louis with her mother and grandmother; her father deserted the family when she was a year old. Her mother was a newspaper editor. Smiley determined from a very early age that she would become a fiction writer. She graduated from Vassar in 1971 and also has an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. For many years, she taught at Iowa State. Her first novel was published in 1980. She has been married three times.
Praise
"In so short a book there is no room for extended critiques of individual novels, but Smiley gives a lucid account of Dickens's development as a novelist, and makes the grounds for her admiration clear....[She] has enhanced our understanding and appreciation of [Dickens's] work...."
"In so short a book there is no room for extended critiques of individual novels, but Smiley gives a lucid account of Dickens's development as a novelist, and makes the grounds for her admiration clear....[She] has enhanced our understanding and appreciation of [Dickens's] work...."
"Jane Smiley on Dickens ought to be unmissable, but this is a serious disappointment. The very strong impression the book gives is that it has been written by someone conscious that they ought to be on their best behaviour, and rather nervous about the prospect. It feels very much like someone who is trying her best to write in an uncongenial mode, and saying the sorts of things which she thinks she ought to be saying....The tangible nervousness emerges on almost every page, with judgments which accord with conventional wisdom and not the inquiring magpie reader Jane Smiley must be....The insistent crackle of wit present on every page of Jane Smiley's novels has bafflingly been replaced by the vaguest and least thoughtful phrases of reviewers."
"Jane Smiley on Dickens ought to be unmissable, but this is a serious disappointment. The very strong impression the book gives is that it has been written by someone conscious that they ought to be on their best behaviour, and rather nervous about the prospect. It feels very much like someone who is trying her best to write in an uncongenial mode, and saying the sorts of things which she thinks she ought to be saying....The tangible nervousness emerges on almost every page, with judgments which accord with conventional wisdom and not the inquiring magpie reader Jane Smiley must be....The insistent crackle of wit present on every page of Jane Smiley's novels has bafflingly been replaced by the vaguest and least thoughtful phrases of reviewers."
"Jane Smiley...is at her best when she offers her own insights, and it is a pity so much of her telling of the life is drawn from Peter Ackroyd's biography, as she freely acknowledges. She has sensible things to say about the way a novelist tries to rationalize the world around him, and how he may then try to make the world fit the vision he has established in his books....As a critic Smiley has less to offer....finally, a critical biography of over 200 pages and costing £15 should have an index."
"Jane Smiley...is at her best when she offers her own insights, and it is a pity so much of her telling of the life is drawn from Peter Ackroyd's biography, as she freely acknowledges. She has sensible things to say about the way a novelist tries to rationalize the world around him, and how he may then try to make the world fit the vision he has established in his books....As a critic Smiley has less to offer....finally, a critical biography of over 200 pages and costing ?15 should have an index."
From the Publisher
Annotation Novelist Jane Smiley seeks to tell readers just who Charles Dickens was, not by reciting the well-known facts of his life but through his books.
Annotation 1 Novelist Jane Smiley seeks to tell readers just who Charles Dickens was, not by reciting the well-known facts of his life but through his books.
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0212
Publisher Viking Books
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