Smiley, Jane

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Jane Smiley


Born September 26, 1949, in Los Angeles, CA; daughter of James Laverne (in U.S. Army) and Frances Nuelle (a writer; maiden name, Graves) Smiley; married John Whiston, September 4, 1970 (divorced, November, 1975); married William Silag (an editor), May 1, 1978 (divorced, February, 1986); married Stephen M. Mortensen (a screenwriter), July 25, 1987 (marriage ended, 1997); children: (second marriage) Phoebe Graves Silag, Lucy Gallagher Silag; (third marriage) Axel James Mortensen. Education: Vassar College, B.A., 1971; University of Iowa, M.A., 1975, M.F.A., 1976, Ph.D., 1978. Politics: "Skeptical." Religion: "Vehement agnostic." Hobbies and other interests: Cooking, swimming, playing piano, quilting.


Homem—CA. Agentm—Molly Friedrich, Aaron Priest Agency, 708 Third Ave., 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10017.


Writer. Iowa State University, Ames, professor, 1981-90, distinguished professor of English, 1992-96. Visiting assistant professor at University of Iowa, 1981, 1987.


Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Screen-writers Guild.

Awards, Honors

Fulbright fellowship, 1976-77; grants from National Endowment for the Arts, 1978, 1987; Friends of American Writers Prize, 1981, for At Paradise Gate; O. Henry awards, 1982, 1985, 1988; National Book Critics Circle Award nomination, 1987, for The Age of Grief, and 1995, for Moo; Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Heartland Award, all 1991, all for A Thousand Acres; Midland Authors Award, 1992.



Barn Blind, Harper (New York, NY), 1980.

At Paradise Gate, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1981.

Duplicate Keys, Knopf (New York, NY), 1984.

The Greenlanders, Knopf (New York, NY), 1988.

A Thousand Acres, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.

Moo, Knopf (New York, NY), 1995.

The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, Knopf (New York, NY), 1998.

Horse Heaven, Knopf (New York, NY), 2000.

Good Faith, Knopf (New York, NY), 2003.


The Age of Grief (novella and stories), Knopf (New York, NY), 1987, reprinted, Knopf (New York, NY), 2002.

Ordinary Love; and Good Will (novellas), Knopf (New York, NY), 1989.

The Life of the Body (short stories), Coffee House Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.


Catskill Crafts: Artisans of the Catskill Mountains (non-fiction), Crown (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) The Best American Short Stories: 1995, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1995.

(Editor, with Roger Rosenblatt and Bharati Mukherjee) Consuming Desires: Consumption Culture and the Pursuit of Happiness, Island Press, 1999.

Charles Dickens, Viking (New York, NY), 2002.

(Editor) Writers on Writing, Volume 2: More Collected Essays from the New York Times, Holt (New York, NY), 2003.

A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck, Knopf (New York, NY), 2004.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.

Author of introduction to Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene, Applewood Books, 1996; The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, Signet (New York, NY), 1999; Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Random House (New York, NY),2001; (with William H. Gass) Horses: Photographs by Michael Eastman, Knopf (New York, NY), 2003; and Deborah Butterfield, by Robert Gordon, Abrams (New York, NY), 2003. Author of afterword to The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot, Signet (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributor to books, including The True Subject: Writers on Life and Craft, Graywolf Press (St. Paul, MN), 1993; The Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty, edited by Yona Zeldis McDonough, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999; and Pacific Light: Images of the Monterrey Peninsula, edited by Douglas Steakley, Carmel Publishing, 2000. Contributor to periodicals, including Vogue, New Yorker, Practical Horseman, Harper's, New York Times Magazine, Victoria, Mirabella, Allure, and Nation.


A Thousand Acres was adapted for film by Laura Jones and released by Touchstone Pictures, 1997; the novella The Age of Grief was adapted by Craig Lucas as the film The Secret Lives of Dentists, directed by Alan Rudolph and starring Hope Davis and Campbell Scott, Manhattan Pictures International.


Winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Jane Smiley explores the intricacy of interpersonal relationships as they grow and change between family members, friends, and lovers. Within her novels, which include A Thousand Acres, Moo, and Horse Heaven, Smiley weaves detailed character studies of often-flawed characters, bringing to life her protagonists through the use of habits, speech, and their reaction to the stresses and joys of daily life. While Smiley captures the subtleties of human interaction, such subtleties help to illustrate more expansive themes, such as loss and recovery. According to Thom Conroy, writing in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, "Smiley's stories are inherently moral. If her characters continue to plumb the depths of the human heart for understanding, it is because Smiley believes enduring truth can never be found anywhere else. They must face the consequences of their own familial histories, but through this path they come to a new understanding, both of themselves and of their place in the community at large."

Smiley also exhibits what Jane Yolen, writing in the Washington Post, described as "spare, yet lyric" prose, the mark of "a true storyteller." Within her stories, while rock-solid family traditions may appear to survive a crisis intact, by story's end readers aware that those traditions have actually undergone a seismic shift; all is, perhaps, not what it seems on the placid surface. As Joanne Kaufman remarked inPeople, Smiley "has an unerring, unsettling ability to capture the rhythms of family life gone askew."

A Southern California Childhood

Smiley was born on September 26, 1949, in Los Angeles, California, the only child of James and Frances Smiley. At age four her parents divorced, and while growing up she rarely saw her father, who suffered from mental illness. Smiley's mother, a newspaper journalist, moved with her daughter to St. Louis, Missouri, where her parents lived. According to Dictionary of Literary Biography contributor Neil Nakadate, the soon-to-be writer "had frequent contact with the families of her mother's siblings, Jane, Ruth, and David, enjoying the secure environment of this large, close extended family, all of whom were storytellers. Smiley has said that the first 'novel' she ever knew was her family."

During adolescence Smiley became an avid reader and student of history, citing John H. Storer's The Web of Life, a First Book of Ecology, as a particularly strong influence due to its discussions regarding the interconnectedness of life on Earth. In 1967 she enrolled at Vassar College, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1971. During this time she married her first husband, John B. Whiston; the pair lived in a Connecticut commune. After graduation, Smiley and her husband moved to Iowa City, where she pursued a master's degree in English. "In a rented farmhouse outside of Iowa City, Smiley and Whiston lived a version of back-to-the-land existence," Nakadate commented, adding that the author's "experiences during this period contributed significantly to her fiction writing." Smiley earned her M.A. in 1975, an M.F.A. in 1976, and a Ph.D. in 1978, all from the University of Iowa. She then began publishing short fiction in journals, and also completed a pair of novels.

Intricate Portraits of Family Life

The themes of family life that have characterized Smiley's body of work were present in her first work of long fiction, Barn Blind, a "pastoral novel of smooth texture andm—like the Middle Western summer in which it is setm—rich, drowsy pace," as Michael Malone described it in the New York Times Book Review. The story revolves around Kate Karl-son, a rancher's wife, and Kate's strained relationships with her four teenaged children. "Smiley handles with skill and understanding the mercurial molasses of adolescence, and the inchoate, cumbersome love that family members feel for one another," Malone noted.

In At Paradise Gate Smiley looks again at conflict between family members. In this story, elderly Anna Robinson faces the imminent death of her husband, Ike. The couple have had a rough marriage; Ike is an emotionally cold and violent person. When Anna's three daughters arrive to visit their dying father, old sibling rivalries are revived, tensions between the parents are renewed, and Anna must confront the failures and triumphs of her life. According to New York Times Book Review contributor Valerie Miner, the novel's storyline "is not so much about Ike's death as about Anna's lifem—a retrospective on her difficult past and a resolution of her remaining years." At Paradise Gate, Susan Wood maintained in a review for the Washington Post, "is a sensitive study of what it means to grow old and face death, and of the courage to see clearly what one's life has meant."

Smiley experiments with genre fiction in Duplicate Keys, a mystery novel set in Manhattan, but the plot is undergirded by a complex network of family relationships. Lois Gould, writing in the New York Times Book Review, found the novel to be only incidently a mystery. "More important and far more compelling," Gould noted, "is the anatomy of friendship, betrayal, the color of dusk on the Upper West Side, the aroma of lilacs in Brooklyn's Botanic Garden, of chocolate tortes at Zabar's, and the bittersweet smell of near success that is perhaps the most pungent odor in town." Laura Marcus, reviewing Duplicate Keys for the Times Literary Supplement, called the book a story about "marriages, affairs, friendships, growing up and growing older . . . . Smiley demonstrates a considerable sensitivity in the treatment of love and friendship." Alice Cromie, in Chicago's Tribune Books, dubbed the work "a sophisticated story of friendships, loves, jealousies, drugs, celebrities and life in the fastest lane in Manhattan."

In addition to fiction, Smiley has penned shorter works, the first of which were published in 1987 'sThe Age of Grief. A collection of five stories and a novella, the book focuses on the joys and sorrows of married life. Reviewing the work for the Chicago Tribune, John Blades noted that Smiley writes "confidently and affectingly [about] the delicate mechanics of marriage and family life, the intricate mysteries of love." The title novella, according to Kaufman, "is a haunting view of a marriage from the inside, a tale told by a betrayed husband full of humor and sadness and sound and quiet fury." Michiko Kakutani, writing in the New York Times, observed that "The Age of Grief" expands "organically, from a comic portrait . . . into a lovely and very sad meditation on the evanescence and durability of love. "Speaking of the book as a whole, Roz Kaveney noted in the Times Literary Supplement that "one of the major strengths of this quiet and unflashy collection . . . is that in [Smiley's] stories things actually do happen. These events are entirely in keeping with her strong vein of social realism, but they have too a quality of the unpredictable, a quality which gives an uninsistent but pervasive sense of the pain and surprise which lie beneath even the most conventional of lives."

In 1988 Smiley published The Greenlanders, a "asprawling, multi-generational, heroic Norse narrative," according to Richard Panek in Chicago's Tribune Books. At 500 pages, the historical novel set in fourteenth-century Greenland took Smiley five years to research and write. The book is based on Viking sagas, in particular, on surviving accounts of the colonies the Vikings established in Greenland, but Smiley blends fact and fiction to create a modern novel with a traditional flavor. As Howard Norman explained in the New York Times Book Review, The Greenlanders "employs a 'folkloristic' modem—with its stories overlapping other stories, folded into yet others." This technique, Yolen noted, presents "more than an individual's story. It is the community's story, the land's." By telling the community's story, Smiley contrasts the tragic failure of Greenland colonies to survive when confronted with fragmented, twentieth-century culture. "The result," Panek wrote, "is a novel that places contemporary conflicts into the context of the ages."

Within her examination of cultural disconnect, Smiley weaves her characteristic themes involving family relations. The Greenlanders traces the effects of acurse on several generations of the Gunnarsson family, well-to-do farmers in Greenland. "Family matters . . .," Yolen stated, "become both the focus and the subtext of the novel: the feuds, the curses, the marriages, the passions and the brutal deaths." Norman remarked on the complexity of the novel, citing the "hundreds of episodes and tributary episodes: the seasonal seal hunts and rituals, the travels over hazardous yet awe-inspiring terrain, the births and deaths. . . . Given the vast template of History, it is impressive how Ms. Smiley is able to telescope certain incidents, unravel personalities in a few paragraphs, [and] delve into a kind of folkloric metaphysics."

Draws on Work of Shakespeare

The Greenlanders, while an ambitious work, was soon to be overshadowed by one of Smiley's most notable accomplishments. A Thousand Acres is a subtle account of a family's disintegration that plays out against a painstakingly detailed backdrop: Midwestern American farm life during the unsettled economy of the early 1980s, a time when many family farms were lost during a wave of bank foreclosures. As Donna Rifkind commented in her Washington Post review, despite this less-than-epicsetting, Smiley's novel "has all the stark brutality, if not the poetic grandeur, of a Shakespearean tragedy."

The correlation to Shakespeare is no accident; as Smiley has explained, A Thousand Acres is a deliberate recasting of King Lear, the Elizabethan play-wright's drama of an aged king bordering on madness and conspired against by three daughters plotting to take control of his kingdom. Filtering the motivations of the three daughters through a more jaundiced view of patriarchal control and feminine subjugation, Lear's eldest daughter, Goneril, becomes Ginny, the woman at the center of this farm family's narrative. "Her feminist re-writing of Shakespeare's plot replaces the incomprehensibly malign sisters with real women who have suffered incomprehensible malignity," noted Diane Purkissin a review for the Times Literary Supplement. "In giving Goneril a voice, Smiley joins the distinguished line of women's writers who have written new parts for Shakespeare's women."

In the opinion of Jack Fuller, reworking the plot of King Lear was a gamble. "The large risk that Smiley runs, of course, is using the Lear story so explicitly," Fuller noted in Chicago's Tribune Books. "It could have turned the book into a kind of precious exercise or a literary curiosity. But Smiley avoids this by the mounting brilliance of her close observations and delicate rendering of human behavior."

Through Ginny's eyes, Smiley shows the deleterious impact of father Larry Cook's decision to divide his multimillion-dollar farm among his three daughters, who include the embittered Rose and the emotionally distant Caroline. As the divided enterprise deteriorates, marriages fall apart and family relationships are crippled by suspicion and betrayal. Describing A Thousand Acres as "powerful" and"poignant," Ron Carlson wrote in the New York Times Book Review that the author "brings us in so close that it's almost too much to bear. She's good in those small places, with nothing but the family, pulling tighter and tighter until someone has to leave the table, leave the room, leave town."

As the Cook family saga unfolds, Smiley gently yet skillfully reveals her feminist and environmentalist sympathies. "In A Thousand Acres, men's dominance of women takes a violent turn, and incest becomes an undercurrent in the novel," wrote Martha Duffy in Time. "The magic of [the novel] is that it deals so effectively with both the author's scholarship and her dead-serious social concerns in an engrossing piece of fiction."

From Farm to University

In Moo, Smiley leaves the strains of family relationships to poke some fun at campus life, which she explores at the fictitious Midwestern agricultural college, nicknamed Moo U. Moo received mixed reactions from reviewers. While Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Richard Eder commented that Smiley wields a "considerable wit" and "provocative intelligence," he also faulted the novel for being "a playful takeoff on too many things, all crowded together and happening at once." In contrast, New York Review of Books critic Cathleen Schine found Moo to be a social comedy similar to those of Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope. "Smiley subverts satire," Schine added, "making it sweeter and ultimately more pointed. She has written a generous and, therefore daring book. . . . Smiley has transformed the genre by embracing a different tradition altogether" and "has created what modern novel readers have until now been able only to dream about, that elusive, seemingly impossible thing: a fresh literary, modern twentieth-century nineteenth-century novel." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly offered praise for the work, writing that in Moo "Smiley delivers a surprising tour de force, asatire of university life that leaves no aspect of contemporary academia unscathed." Joanne Wilkinson sounded a similar positive note in her review for Booklist, writing that "Smiley's great gift here is the way she gently skewers any number of easily recognizable campus fixtures . . . while never failing to show their humanity."

Following Moo, Smiley returned to historical fiction with The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, which appeared in 1998. Discussing the novel with Lewis Burke Frumkes of Writer, Smiley explained that the novel "takes place in the mid-1850s, mostly in Kansas and Missouri. It's about a tall, plain woman without any prospects, and a man, associated with an abolitionist group from New England, who passes through Lidie's town in Illinois. "Lidie and this man, Thomas, fall in love, marry, and settle in Kansas. There Lidie must confront primitive frontier living conditions, conflicts about free labor versus slavery, and the "worst winter in a hundred years." "I once read that every 19th-century American novel was actually a romance," Smiley told Frumkes, "so I wanted to write a romance, a story in which the protagonist sets out on a journey and sees many amazing things." Smiley drew inspiration for her work from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Starr E. Smith, writing in Library Journal, called The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton "believable period fiction," and Donna Seaman credited it in Booklist with exploring both "the bloody conflict over slavery and the simultaneous awakening of the feminist movement within in the parameters of a love story."

In Horse Heaven Smiley explores the contemporary world of thoroughbred horse racing at tracks throughout the world from 1997 to 1999. Horse Heaven contains a large cast of major charactersm—more than two dozen humans, a number of equines, and a dogm—and a complex plot with many inter-weaving storylines. Trainers, jockeys, owners, gamblers, an animal communicator, horse fanciers, and assorted racetrack hangers-on share center stage, exploring their own lives and others through love affairs, business dealings, friendships, and betrayals. Yet as Paula Chin noted in People, "it is the hearts of the magnificent thoroughbreds that Smiley describes most movingly." Barich offered a similar assessment, commenting, "What's remarkable about Smiley's handling of horses as characters is that she manages to bring it off at allm—and more, she does it brilliantly."

Among Smiley's four-legged protagonists are the savage stallion Epic Steam, the delicate and insecure Froney's Sis, the aging Mr. T., and the five-year-old gelding Justa Bob, the last characterized by Barich as a "joker at heart." Barich cited Smiley's research for the book as "exemplary," remarking,"It's deeply satisfying to read a work of fiction so informed about its subject and so alive to every nuance and detail," the author's expertise extending" from veterinary surgery to the riding tactics of jockeys."

Horse Heaven received generally positive reviews. Seaman found the work "electrifying," while Women's Review of Books critic Maxine Kumin described it as "exuberant, often hilarious." Sounding a dissonant note was Jeff Giles, who wrote in Newsweek that the abundance of characters in the book is confusing and, "because Smiley is constantly channel-surfing between story lines, her novel gets choppy, and even the races don't quite thrill." Giles, however, did grant that Smiley manages to create both "tender" moments and "tense" ones.

Returning to the same decade in which she set A Thousand Acres, Smiley's Good Faith In the work, Joe Stratford, a successful but modest realtor in rural New Jersey, crosses paths with Marcus Burns, a shady and manipulative former employee of the Internal Revenue Service. Burns convinces Stratford and his partner, Gordon Baldwin, to invest in and develop a new property, the fabulous estate of Salt Key Farm. "The suspense in the novel doesn't lie in our uncovering Marcus's villainy or in waiting for the real estate speculation to explode," noted Paul Evans in Book. "He's patently a slickster, and the deal screams danger. Rather, what's intriguing is the good faith that Joey and Gordon first lavish upon the suspicious strangerm—trust bred of equal parts backwater naivete and starry-eyed optimismm—and our witnessing that good faith erode."

Reviewing Good Faith in Time magazine, Richard Lacayo concluded that Smiley "knows something about land and the many ways it accrues value, sometimes just in the imagination. Her book is a wise comic tale about the ways in which money makes more substantial thingsm—land, love, friend-shipm—dematerialize." The novel was also praised by a critic for Publishers Weekly as "a clever and entertaining cautionary tale" that casts a humorous light on America's recent cultural past, while also echoing the author's characteristic focus on the fragile balance within human relationships.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 76, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1993.

Contemporary Novelists, 7th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.

Contemporary Popular Writers, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1997.

Dictionary of Literary Biography, Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 227: American Novelists since World War II, Sixth Series, 2000, Volume 234: American Short-Story Writers since World War II, Third Series, 2001.

Nakadate, Neil, Understanding Jane Smiley, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1999.

Neubauer, Alexander, Conversations on Writing Fiction: Interviews with Thirteen Distinguished Teachers of Fiction Writing in America, Harper Collins (NewYork, NY), 1994.

Pearlman, Mickey, Listen to Their Voices: Twenty Interviews with Women Who Write, Norton (NewYork, NY, 1993.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 28, 1999, Teresa K. Weaver, "A Willing Vessel: Smiley Gives Words Free Rein," pp. L1, L9.

Belles Lettres, summer, 1992, pp. 36-38.

Book, May-June, 2002, Kevin Greenberg, review of Charles Dickens, p. 76; March-April, 2003, Paul Evans, "Risky Speculations," pp. 67-68.

Booklist, February 1, 1995, p. 971; November 1, 1995,p. 453; February 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of Horse Heaven, p. 1053; February 15, 2000, Donna Seaman, review of The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton, p. 1078; January 1, 2003, Donna Seaman, review of Good Faith, p. 808; March 15, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck, p. 1242.

Chicago Tribune, November 6, 1987; November 24, 1991.

Chicago Tribune Magazine, July 25, 1999, Conan Putnam, "Distance Runner," pp. 18-19.

Christian Science Monitor, April 30, 1998, Ron Fletcher, "Bringing a Timeless Humanity to Writing," p. B2.

Entertainment Weekly, April 25, 2003, review of Good Faith, p. 155; April 23, 2004, Cynthia Grisolia,"Blood Horses-Head," p. 85.

Library Journal, March 15, 2000, Starr E. Smith, review of Horse Heaven, p. 130; May 1, 2002, Paolina Taglienti, review of Charles Dickens, p. 102; February 15, 2003, Starr E. Smith, review of Good Faith, p. 171; April 15, 2004, Patsy Gray, review of A Year at the Races, p. 93.

London Review of Books, November 19, 1992; October 19, 1995, p. 38.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 18, 1984; October 18, 1987; April 2, 1995, pp. 3, 8.

Missouri Review, Volume 21, number 3, Kay Bonetti, interview with Smiley, pp. 89-108.

Nation, May 8, 1995, p. 638.

New Leader, March 13, 1995, p. 18.

Newsday, April 25, 2000, Dan Cryer, "Thoroughbred Writer," pp. B6-B7.

New Statesman, June 9, 1995, p. 37.

Newsweek, April 17, 2000, Jeff Giles, "All the Pretty Racehorses," p. 68.

New York Review of Books, August 10, 1995, pp. 38-39.

New York Times, August 26, 1987.

New York Times Book Review, August 17, 1980; November 22, 1981; April 29, 1984; September 6,1987; May 15, 1988; November 3, 1991; April 2, 1995, p. 1; April 5, 1998, p. 10; April 2, 2000, Bill Barich, "From the Horse's Mouth."

People, January 18, 1988; April 24, 1995, p. 29; January 15, 1996, p. 35; April 10, 2000, Paula Chin, review of Horse Heaven, p. 49.

Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1988; February 6, 1995, pp. 75-76; February 17, 2003, review of Good Faith, p. 56; March 29, 2004, review of A Year at the Races, p. 51.

Spectator, August 9, 2003, Anita Brookner, "The Way They Lived Then," pp. 40-41; November 13, 2004,Stoker Devonshire, "Just Mad about Horses," pp.60-61.

If you enjoy the works of Jane Smiley

If you enjoy the works of Jane Smiley, you may also want to check out the following:

Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, 1961.

Lee Milton Hollander, The Poetic Edda, 1986.

Tobias Wolff, Old School, 2003.

Time, November 11, 1991; April 17, 1995, p. 68; April 21, 2003, Richard Lacayo, "Dollars and Sensibility," p. 74.

Times (London, England), February 4, 1988.

Times Literary Supplement, August 24, 1984; March 18, 1988; October 30, 1992.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), July 8, 1984; April 3, 1988; November 3, 1991; April 27, 2003, review of Good Faith, p. 1.

Washington Post, October 27, 1981; May 13, 1988; October 27, 1991.

Washington Post Book World, March 26, 1995; June 21, 1998, Marie Arana-Ward, "A Bard of the Midwest," p. 8; May 2, 2004, Sally Jenkins, "Unbridled Passion," p. 9.

Women's Review of Books, June, 2000, Maxine Kumin, "More Equine the Others," p. 11; April, 2003, Valerie Miner, "Low Finance," pp. 16-18.

Writer, May, 1999, Lewis Burke Frumkes, "A Conversation with . . . Jane Smiley," p. 20.

Yale Review, October, 1995, p. 135.

ONLINE, (April, 1998), Ellen Kanner, "Take a Wild Ride with Jane Smiley's Spirited New Heroine.", (June 18, 2003), Robert Birnbaum, interview with Smiley., (February 27, 2001), Dave Weich, "Who's Happiest in Horse Heaven, Jane Smiley or the Horses?" (interview).

Random House Web site, (June 15, 2005), "Jane Smiley."*