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13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

ISBN-10: 1400040590
ISBN-13: 9781400040599
Edition: 2005
Authors: Jane Smiley
List price: $26.95 Buy it from $2.99
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Description: Over an extraordinary twenty-year career, Jane Smiley has written all kinds of novels: mystery, comedy, historical fiction, epic. "Is there anything Jane Smiley cannot do?" raves "Time "magazine. But in the wake of 9/11, Smiley faltered in her  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/13/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 608
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.2
Language: English

Over an extraordinary twenty-year career, Jane Smiley has written all kinds of novels: mystery, comedy, historical fiction, epic. "Is there anything Jane Smiley cannot do?" raves "Time "magazine. But in the wake of 9/11, Smiley faltered in her hitherto unflagging impulse to write and decided to approach novels from a different angle: she read one hundred of them, from classics such as the thousand-year-old "Tale of Genji" to recent fiction by Zadie Smith, Nicholson Baker, and Alice Munro. Smiley explores-as no novelist has before her-the unparalleled intimacy of reading, why a novel succeeds (or doesn't), and how the novel has changed over time. She describes a novelist as "right on the cusp between someone who knows everything and someone who knows nothing," yet whose "job and ambition is to develop a theory of how it feels to be alive." In her inimitable style-exuberant, candid, opinionated-Smiley invites us behind the scenes of novel-writing, sharing her own habits and spilling the secrets of her craft. She walks us step-by-step through the publication of her most recent novel, "Good Faith, "and, in two vital chapters on how to write "a novel of your own," offers priceless advice to aspiring authors. "Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel "may amount to a peculiar form of autobiography. We see Smiley reading in bed with a chocolate bar; mulling over plot twists while cooking dinner for her family; even, at the age of twelve, devouring Sherlock Holmes mysteries, which she later realized were among her earliest literary models for plot and character. And in an exhilarating conclusion, Smiley considers individually the one hundred books she read, from "Don Quixote "to"Lolita "to "Atonement, "presenting her own insights and often controversial opinions. In its scope and gleeful eclecticism, her reading list is one of the most compelling-and surprising-ever assembled. Engaging, wise, sometimes irreverent, "Thirteen Ways" is essential reading for anyone who has ever escaped into the pages of a novel or, for that matter, wanted to write one. In Smiley's own words, ones she found herself turning to over the course of her journey: "Read this. I bet you'll like it."

Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles, California on September 26, 1949. She received a B. A. at Vassar College in 1971 and an M. F. A. and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa. From 1981 to 1996, she taught undergrad and graduate creative writing workshops at Iowa State University. Her first critically acclaimed novel, The Greenlanders (1988), was preceded by three other novels and a highly regarded short story collection, The Age of Grief (1987). In 1985, she won an O. Henry Award for her short story Lily, which was published in The Atlantic Monthly. Her novel A Thousand Acres (1991) received both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Her other works include Moo; Horse Heaven; and Ordinary Love and Good Will. In 2014 her title, Some Luck, made The New York Times Best Seller List.

Introductionp. 3
What Is a Novel?p. 14
Who Is a Novelist?p. 29
The Origins of the Novelp. 56
The Psychology of the Novelp. 83
Morality and the Novelp. 105
The Art of the Novelp. 128
The Novel and Historyp. 157
The Circle of the Novelp. 178
A Novel of Your Own (I)p. 204
A Novel of Your Own (II)p. 229
Good Faith: A Case Historyp. 250
Reading a Hundred Novelsp. 270
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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