A Thousand Acres: A Novel

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A Thousand Acres: A Novel

by Jane Smiley

Random House Canada | January 11, 1991 | Hardcover |

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A thousand acres, a piece of land of almost mythic proportions. Upon this fertile, nourishing earth, Jane Smiley has set her rich, breathtakingly dramatic novel of an American family whose wealth cannot stay the hand of tragedy. It is the intense, compelling story of a father and his daughters, of sisters, of wives and husbands, and of the human cost of a lifetime spent trying to subdue the land and the passions it stirs. The most critically acclaimed novel of the literary season, a classic story of contemporary American life, A THOUSAND ACRES is destined to be read for years to come.
"It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt . . . . Its genius grows from its ruthless acceptance of the divided nature of every character . . . . This gives A THOUSAND ACRES the prismatic quality of the greatest art." -- Chicago Tribune
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 371 Pages

Published: January 11, 1991

Publisher: Random House Canada

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394577736

ISBN - 13: 9780394577739

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– More About This Product –

A Thousand Acres: A Novel

by Jane Smiley

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 371 Pages

Published: January 11, 1991

Publisher: Random House Canada

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0394577736

ISBN - 13: 9780394577739

Read from the Book

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. Cabot Street Road was really just another country blacktop, except that five miles west it ran into and out of the town of Cabot. On the western edge of Cabot, it became Zebulon County Scenic Highway, and ran for three miles along the curve of the Zebulon River, before the river turned south and the Scenic continued west into Pike. The T intersection of CR 686 perched on a little rise, a rise nearly as imperceptible as the bump in the center of an inexpensive plate. From that bump, the earth was unquestionably flat, the sky unquestionably domed, and it seemed to me when I was a child in school, learning about Columbus, that in spite of what my teacher said, ancient cultures might have been onto something. No globe or map fully convinced me that Zebulon County was not the center of the universe. Certainly, Zebulon County, where the earth was flat, was one spot where a sphere (a seed, a rubber ball, a ballbearing) must come to perfect rest and once at rest must send a taproot downward into the ten-foot-thick topsoil. Because the intersection was on this tiny rise, you could see our buildings, a mile distant, at the southern edge of the farm. A mile to the east, you could see three silos that marked the northeastern corner, and if you raked your gaze from the silos to the house and barn, then back again, you would take in the immensi
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From the Publisher

A thousand acres, a piece of land of almost mythic proportions. Upon this fertile, nourishing earth, Jane Smiley has set her rich, breathtakingly dramatic novel of an American family whose wealth cannot stay the hand of tragedy. It is the intense, compelling story of a father and his daughters, of sisters, of wives and husbands, and of the human cost of a lifetime spent trying to subdue the land and the passions it stirs. The most critically acclaimed novel of the literary season, a classic story of contemporary American life, A THOUSAND ACRES is destined to be read for years to come.
"It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt . . . . Its genius grows from its ruthless acceptance of the divided nature of every character . . . . This gives A THOUSAND ACRES the prismatic quality of the greatest art." -- Chicago Tribune
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award


From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jane Smiley is the author of more than ten works of fiction, including Good Faith, Horse Heaven, Moo, and The Greenlanders. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Our Editors

A prospering Iowa farm in the late 1970s turns suddenly ominous in Jane Smiley's new novel, her most ambitious and compelling to date. Without warning, a land-rich farmer declares his intention to divide his vast holdings among his three daughters, and tremors are set in motion that bring discoveries of the past, after which there is no forgiveness

Editorial Reviews

"Brilliant. . . . Absorbing. . . . A thrilling work of art." -Chicago Sun-Times

"A family portrait that is also a near-epic investigation into the broad landscape, the thousand dark acres of the human heart. . . . The book has all the stark brutality of a Shakespearean tragedy." -The Washington Post Book World

"Powerful and poignant." -The New York Times Book Review

"Superb. . . . There seems to be nothing Smiley can't write about fabulously well." -San Francisco Chronicle

"It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt. . . . A Thousand Acres [has] the prismatic quality of the greatest art." -Chicago Tribune

"Absorbing. . . . Exhilarating. . . . An engrossing piece of fiction." -Time

"A full, commanding novel. . . . A story bound and tethered to a lonely road in the Midwest, but drawn from a universal source. . . . Profoundly American." -The Boston Globe


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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