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A Thousand Acres: A Novel by Jane Smiley
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A Thousand Acres: A Novel (edition 2003)

by Jane Smiley

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,76997980 (3.71)291
Member:gaskella
Title:A Thousand Acres: A Novel
Authors:Jane Smiley
Info:Anchor (2003), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Collections:Your library, Prize-winners
Rating:
Tags:Pulitzer prize, Family drama, Small town USA, Fiction

Work details

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

  1. 80
    King Lear by William Shakespeare (browner56)
    browner56: The original and a modern retelling of a powerful story involving some very strong women
  2. 10
    Plainsong by Kent Haruf (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Similar treatment of broad-open landscapes and middle American family values.
  3. 00
    1606 : William Shakespeare and the year of Lear by James Shapiro (amarie)
    amarie: Insight into King Lear source and everything else happening that year.
  4. 00
    The Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner (kjgormley)
    kjgormley: They are both King Lear retellings.
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» See also 291 mentions

English (93)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  English (96)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
This book was really hard for me to get into.I ended giving it 3 stars because there were many parts that I could sink my teeth into. Sadly that was only a small percentage of the novel. While I thought the plot was good i just kept yawning.While the book may not have been my cup of tea I think the movie I would enjoy so I'm gonna try that. ( )
  justablondemoment | Oct 18, 2016 |
I think I read it, but can't really remember.
  librisissimo | Oct 9, 2016 |
Be sure to read the exclusive interview with Jane Smiley here: http://writersresourceblog.com/2016/01/07/author-interview-jane-smiley-exclusive...

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Anchor Books, Dec 2003

Told in five “books” or parts, this prize-winning novel blew me away. On the surface as quiet and unchanging—or as slowly changing—as its rural setting, the work plunges deep into the lives and relations of a family struggling to keep a farming lifestyle alive.

Having lived in the Midwest and seen the daily struggle of farm families to continue to make something of the work that feeds a nation, I know that Smiley’s depictions are true to life. The details she selects to illuminate the interior feelings of the characters also expand upon their actions. Although mere single lives when considered individually, each of these characters becomes as wide and as wide-ranging as the plains on which they live and work and struggle.

A novel not to be missed. I’ll be sure to seek out more of Smiley’s work.

5 stars!

If you love stories that immerse you in the mindset of its character, check out [b:The Family Made of Dust: A Novel of Loss and Rebirth in the Australian Outback|31692655|The Family Made of Dust A Novel of Loss and Rebirth in the Australian Outback|Laine Cunningham|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1472357358s/31692655.jpg|6308645]. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Oct 4, 2016 |
King Lear retold in Zebulon County, Iowa of 1979. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Oct 2, 2016 |
Wow!! The drama and impact of this story increases more and more the further you go. The family dynamics of both the Cook family and their nearest neighbors, the Clarks, start off seemingly so smooth and normal and unravel so completely.

Plenty to think about so more may come... ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Does this sound familiar?

At the opening of Jane Smiley's latest novel, "A Thousand Acres," the narrator, a woman named Virginia Cook Smith, describes the farm in Zebulon County, Iowa, that she and her two younger sisters, Rose and Caroline, have grown up on: "Paid for, no encumbrances, as flat and fertile, black, friable and exposed as any piece of land on the face of the earth."

And then comes the shock of recognition. In 1979, the three sisters' father, Laurence (Larry) Cook, decides to form a corporation out of his farm holdings and give each of his daughters a third of it. What do they think of the plan? "It's a good idea," says the oldest, who is called Ginny. "It's a great idea," says the second daughter, Rose. "I don't know," says the youngest, Caroline, who is a lawyer.

"You don't want it, my girl, you're out," says Larry to Caroline. "It's as simple as that." So the farm is divided into two instead of three, with Ginny and Rose to take turns looking after Larry. And a tragedy of ingratitude, madness and generational conflict begins. . . .
 

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To Steve, as simple as that
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At sixty miles per hour, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0449907481, Paperback)

Aging Larry Cook announces his intention to turn over his 1,000-acre farm--one of the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa--to his three daughters, Caroline, Ginny and Rose. A man of harsh sensibilities, he carves Caroline out of the deal because she has the nerve to be less than enthusiastic about her father's generosity. While Larry Cook deteriorates into a pathetic drunk, his daughters are left to cope with the often grim realities of life on a family farm--from battering husbands to cutthroat lenders. In this winner of the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Smiley captures the essence of such a life with stark, painful detail.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Dark truths and long-suppressed emotions come to the surface in 1979 when a successful Iowa farmer decides to cut one of his daughters out of his will.

(summary from another edition)

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