Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling novelist Jane Smiley celebrates the novel–and takes us on an exhilarating tour through one hundred of them–in this seductive and immensely rewarding literary tribute.
In her inimitable style–exuberant, candid, opinionated–Smiley explores the power of the novel, looking at its history and variety, its cultural impact, and just how it works its magic. She invites us behind the scenes of novel-writing, sharing her own habits and spilling the secrets of her craft. And she offers priceless advice to aspiring authors. As she works her way through one hundred novels–from classics such as the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to recent fiction by Zadie Smith and Alice Munro–she infects us anew with the passion for reading that is the governing spirit of this gift to book lovers everywhere.
About the Author
Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and more than ten other works of fiction, as well as three works of nonfiction, including a critically acclaimed biography of Charles Dickens. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.
“Engaging. . . . Down-to-earth. . . . Smiley’s unmediated voice–blunt, uncompromising and witty–rings from every page. . . . She inspires wicked delight.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A massive victory. . . . Awfully smart. . . . Always a pleasure.” –The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Provocative. . . . Wise and humane. . . . It reminds readers of the novel why they love their avocation. . . . I most heartily recommend it.” –Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor
“Thorough, insightful. . . . Sure to inspire delicious debate and excite interest in undiscovered works. . . . Her critiques are shrewd, artful and unflinching. . . . Thirteen Ways continues to whisper its profundities long after the last page is turned.” –Rocky Mountain News