Video from Jane Smiley at Live Talks Los Angeles discussing the writing life and her novel, Some Luck. She was interviewed by David Francis on October 29, 2014 at The Moss Theatre at New Roads School in Santa Monica. For more information on Live Talks Los Angeles - upcoming events, videos and podcasts, visit: livetalksla.org
Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as four works of nonfiction. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006. She lives in Northern California.
We love Jane at Live Talks Los Angeles. She was part of our first event, where she interviewed Dave Barry (see the video), and she returned earlier this year to interview Gary Shteyngart (see the video). We are excited to to be featuring her for her upcoming novel, Some Luck.
On their farm in Denby, Iowa, Rosanna and Walter Langdon abide by time-honored values that they pass on to their five wildly different yet equally remarkable children: Frank, the brilliant, stubborn first-born; Joe, whose love of animals makes him the natural heir to his family’s land; Lillian, an angelic child who enters a fairy-tale marriage with a man only she will fully know; Henry, the bookworm who’s not afraid to be different; and Claire, who earns the highest place in her father’s heart. Moving from post-World War I America through the early 1950s, Some Luck gives us an intimate look at this family’s triumphs and tragedies, zooming in on the realities of farm life, while casting-as the children grow up and scatter to New York, California, and everywhere in between-a panoramic eye on the monumental changes that marked the first half of the twentieth century. Rich with humor and wisdom, twists and surprises, Some Luck takes us through deeply emotional cycles of births and deaths, passions, and betrayals, displaying Smiley’s dazzling virtuosity, compassion, and understanding of human nature and the nature of history, never discounting the role of fate and chance. This potent conjuring of many lives across generations is a stunning tour de force.
David Francis‘ first novel Agapanthus Tango was published internationally in seven languages and then in the United States as The Great Island Sea. His second novel, Stray Dog Winter, was named Book of the Year in The Advocate, Novel of the Year in the Australian Literature Review, was a 2009 LAMBDA fiction award finalist and won the 2010 American Library Association Barbara Gittings Stonewall Prize for Literature. His short fiction has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Wet Ink, The Southern California Review, Best Australian Stories 2010 and 2012, Griffith Review, Meanjin, The Harvard Review and The Ratting Wall. His book reviews have appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books. For more information go to visit his website.