This powerful twentieth-century reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear centers on a wealthy Iowa farmer who decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. Ambitiously conceived and stunningly written, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride—and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.
Release on 2001-09-01 | by Susan Elizabeth Farrell
A Reader's Guide
Author: Susan Elizabeth Farrell
Pubpsher: A&C Black
Category: Literary Criticism
Continuum Contemporaries will be a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for members of book clubs and readings groups, as well as for literature students.The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed, and most influential novels of recent years. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question. The books in the series will all follow the same structure:a biography of the novelist, including other works, influences, and, in some cases, an interview; a full-length study of the novel, drawing out the most important themes and ideas; a summary of how the novel was received upon publication; a summary of how the novel has performed since publication, including film or TV adaptations, literary prizes, etc.; a wide range of suggestions for further reading, including websites and discussion forums; and a list of questions for reading groups to discuss.
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Englisches Seminar), 8 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: This work deals with concepts of ownership in terms of land in the novel "A Thousand Acres" written by Jane Smiley. The novel was written in 1991 and was rewarded a Pulitzer Prize. Jane Smiley rewrote the Shakespearean play King Lear by narrating the story from the eldest daughter's point of view. However, A Thousand Acres is not only a rewriting of Shakespeare's work, it also comments on the social and agricultural circumstances in the United States of the 1960s and 70s, where the novel is set. Her critique in this novel points towards industrialised farming and the exploitation of land and its resources. The aim of the paper ist to find out how agriculture and farming are represented in "A Thousand Acres." How does Jane Smiley describe the results of industrialised farming? Is there any return? How do people cope with agribusiness and its consequences? What is the structure of the society that lives for agribusiness? In the course of answering these questions I will try to draw relating problems between Smiley's "A Thousand Acres" and Shakespeare's "King Lear" and will try to point out the differences between the novel and the play in matters pertaining to concepts of land-ownership.
Historians and Novelists Confront America's Past (and Each Other)
Author: Mark C. Carnes
Pubpsher: Simon and Schuster
A collection of essays by twenty top historians on important works of historical fiction includes responses by the novelists themselves and considers how accurately events are reflected in each piece and the relationship between depicted and actual history. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Twentieth-century Women Novelists and Appropriation
Author: Julie Sanders
Pubpsher: Manchester University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Much recent contemporary fiction by women has appropratied themes and plot structures found in Shakespearean drama; "Novel Shakespeare" is an innovative study of a number of these texts. Environmental theory, the Hollywood and Bollywood film industries, detective fiction, children's literature, and the politics of postcolonialsim, are examined. Offering stimulating critical analyses for students of Shakespeare, contemporary fiction, and gender studies, this work provides a pertinent introduction to the emergent genre of appropriation.
"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years Trilogy, a captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals--and a young boy--whose lives intersect in Paris Paras is a spirited racehorse at a racetrack west of Paris. At dusk, one afternoon she pushes open the door of her stall--she's a curious filly--and, after traveling through the night, arrives by chance in the City of Light. She's dazzled, and often mystified, by the sights, sounds and smells around her, but she isn't afraid. Soon she meets an elegant dog, a German shorthair pointer named Frida, who knows how to get by without attracting the attention of suspicious Parisians. Paras and Frida coexist for a time in the city's lush green spaces, nourished by Frida's strategic trips to the bakery and the butchershop. They keep company with two irrepressible ducks, and an opinionated raven. But then Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great grandmother live, quietly and unto themselves. As the cold weather and Christmas near, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom among humans and animals alike. But how long can a runaway horse live undiscovered in Paris? And how long can a boy keep her hidden, and all his own? Jane Smiley's beguiling new novel is itself an adventure that celebrates curiosity and ingenuity, and expresses the desire of all creatures for true friendship, love, and freedom"--
See the difference, read #1 bestselling author Jane Smiley in Large Print * About Large Print All Random House Large Print editions are published in a 16-point typeface Six years after her Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller, A Thousand Acres, and three years after her witty, acclaimed, and best-selling novel of academe, Moo, Jane Smiley once again demonstrates her extraordinary range and brilliance. Her new novel, set in the 1850s, speaks to us in a splendidly quirky voice--the strong, wry, no-nonsense voice of Lidie Harkness of Quincy, Illinois, a young woman of courage, good sense, and good heart. It carries us into an America so violently torn apart by the question of slavery that it makes our current political battlegrounds seem a peaceable kingdom. Lidie is hard to scare. She is almost shockingly alive--a tall, plain girl who rides and shoots and speaks her mind, and whose straightforward ways paradoxically amount to a kind of glamour. We see her at twenty, making a good marriage--to Thomas Newton, a steady, sweet-tempered Yankee who passes through her hometown on a dangerous mission. He belongs to a group of rashly brave New England abolitionists who dedicate themselves to settling the Kansas Territory with like-minded folk to ensure its entering the Union as a Free State. Lidie packs up and goes with him. And the novel races alongside them into the Territory, into the maelstrom of "Bloody Kansas," where slaveholding Missourians constantly and viciously clash with Free Staters, where wandering youths kill you as soon as look at you--where Lidie becomes even more fervently abolitionist than her husband as the young couple again and again barely escape entrapment in webs of atrocity on both sides of the great question. And when, suddenly, cold-blooded murder invades her own intimate circle, Lidie doesn't falter. She cuts off her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and rides into Missouri in search of the killers--a woman in a fiercely male world, an abolitionist spy in slave territory. On the run, her life threatened, her wits sharpened, she takes on yet another identity--and, in the very midst of her masquerade, discovers herself. Lidie grows increasingly important to us as we follow her travels and adventures on the feverish eve of the War Between the States. With its crackling portrayal of a totally individual and wonderfully articulate woman, its storytelling drive, and its powerful recapturing of an almost forgotten part of the American story, this is Jane Smiley at her enthralling and enriching best. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents
Author: Donna Woodford
Pubpsher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Category: Literary Criticism
Compiles selections from historical, modern, and literary sources to help students understand the play, the time in which it was written, and its relevance today, with questions at the end of each section.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author's revelatory celebration of the novel - at once an anatomy of the art of fiction, a guide for readers and writers and a memoir of literary life. Over her 20 year career, Jane Smiley has written many kinds of novels - mystery, comedy, historical fiction, epic. But when her impulse to write faltered after 9/11, she decided to approach novels from a different angle: she read 100 of them, from the 1000-year-old Tale of Genji to the recent bestseller White Teeth by Zadie Smith, from classics to little-known gems. With these books and her experience of reading them as her reference, Smiley discusses the pleasure of reading; why a novel succeeds - or doesn't; and how the form has changed over time. She delves into the character of the novelist and reveals how (and which) novels have affected her own life.