Friday, October 24, 2014

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Some Luck: A Novel by Jane Smiley --- 395 pages

I had the great good fortune to hear Jane Smiley speak a few years ago, and since she grew up in St. Louis, I've always followed her career and read her books.

With this book I think she has now firmly established herself in the pantheon of Great American Authors. Not only is it a subtly crafted work of literature but it also has great popular appeal, for it is irresistibly readable. The lives of the Langdons, an Iowa farm family, provide a personal narrative of the American experience in the 20th century. Some Luck begins in the aftermath of World War I, and proceeds through the Great Depression, World War II, the Atomic Age and the beginning of the Cold War, ending in 1953.

Best of all, this is the first of a projected trilogy, The Last Hundred Years, that will follow the family from 1919 to 2019, 100 chapters, one for each of the 100 years, across three volumes. The second is scheduled for publication next spring and the third in the fall of 2015. This first book came out the beginning of October and has already been listed for the National Book Award.

Click HERE to read the Chicago Tribune review of Some Luck.

Click HERE to read an interview with Jane Smiley in the New York Times.

Click HERE to listen to an interview with Jane Smiley on Iowa Public Radio.

Click HERE to watch Smiley give a  reading from Some Luck followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

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