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Understanding Jane Smiley (Paperback)

Author: Nakadate, Neil

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This fully updated edition of the only book-length study of Jane Smiley serves as a comprehensive survey of the innovative author's literary career in relation to her social, intellectual, and creative convictions. Smiley's fiction ranges in setting from medieval Greenland to an Iowa farm to Hollywood and in subject matter from Thoroughbred racing to the savings and loan scandal to contemporary domestic life. A sense of common trajectory and coherence emerges from a focus on the author's ongoing themes--including those of family, environmental integrity, social institutions, economic and political dynamics, and the efforts of women to establish their identities in a harsh and often unreceptive world. In paying due attention to such issues and interactions, Neil Nakadate also explores the boundaries of Smiley's critical intelligence, which ranges adventurously across numerous topics and disciplines and stems from a host of literary influences. To that end Nakadate notes Smiley's affinity with Austen, Dickens, Woolf, and others, but he also makes clear that her evolving realist's vision is insistently contemporary. In the spirit of Updike and DeLillo, Smiley provides fresh insights into the ethos and direction of American life as generations succeed each other and the twenty-first century begins to take shape.

Nakadate's study is organized around close readings of Smiley's major fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Thousand Acres. Nakadate also examines her key essays and nonfiction as a means of adding an additional perspective on her novels. The volume's updated biographical material benefits from an unpublished interview conducted with Smiley in 2008, and the citations and extensive bibliography have also been updated, making this new edition an ideal point of entrance for readers eager to understand Smiley's complete body of work.


Publisher Univ of South Carolina Pr
Mfg Part# 9781570038587
SKU 211303585
Format Paperback
ISBN10 1570038589
Release Date 12/1/2009
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Edition 0002
Number of Pages 0288
Publisher University of South Carolina Press
$35.45 + free shipping
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