Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California, moved to the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri as an infant, and lived there through grammar school and high school (The John Burroughs School).
After getting her Bachelor of Art at Vassar College in 1971, she traveled in Europe for a year, working on an archeological dig and sightseeing, and then returned to Iowa for graduate school at the University of Iowa. Master of Fine Art and Doctor of Philosophy in hand, she went to work in 1981 at Iowa State University in Ames, where she taught until 1996.
She has two daughters, Phoebe Silag (1978) and Lucy Silag (1982), and one son, Axel Mortensen (1992).
Jane is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will, A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, Moo, Horse Heaven, and Good Earth, as well as many essays for such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, Practical Horseman, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times travel section, Victoria, Mirabella, Allure, The Nation, and others.
She has written on politics, farming, horse training, child-rearing, literature, impulse buying, getting dressed, Barbie, marriage and many other topics. She is also the author of the four books of nonfiction, including A Year at the Races, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, and from Penguin Lives Series, a biography of Charles Dickens.
She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001. In December, 2006, Jane received the Pen USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Her latest novel, Ten Days in the Hills, was published in February 2007.
Jane lives in Northern California, as do several of her horses.
The Bobbsy Twins, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie
Sherlock Holmes, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen
Penguin Group USA
Simon & Schuster
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