A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres

Jane Smiley / Jul 19, 2019

A Thousand Acres Aging Larry Cook announces his intention to turn over his acre farm one of the largest in Zebulon County Iowa to his three daughters Caroline Ginny and Rose A man of harsh sensibilities he c

  • Title: A Thousand Acres
  • Author: Jane Smiley
  • ISBN: 9780394577739
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Aging Larry Cook announces his intention to turn over his 1,000 acre farm one of the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa to his three daughters, Caroline, Ginny and Rose A man of harsh sensibilities, he carves Caroline out of the deal because she has the nerve to be less than enthusiastic about her father s generosity While Larry Cook deteriorates into a pathetic drunk, hiAging Larry Cook announces his intention to turn over his 1,000 acre farm one of the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa to his three daughters, Caroline, Ginny and Rose A man of harsh sensibilities, he carves Caroline out of the deal because she has the nerve to be less than enthusiastic about her father s generosity While Larry Cook deteriorates into a pathetic drunk, his daughters are left to cope with the often grim realities of life on a family farm from battering husbands to cutthroat lenders In this winner of the 1991 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Smiley captures the essence of such a life with stark, painful detail.

    A Thousand Acres A THOUSAND ACRES is a drama about an American family who meets with tragedy on their land It is the story of a father, his daughters, and their husbands, and their passion to subdue the history of their land and its stories. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres Aging Larry Cook announces his intention to turn over his , acre farm one of the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa to his three daughters, Caroline, Ginny, and Rose A man of harsh sensibilities, he carves Caroline out of the deal because she has the nerve to be less than enthusiastic about her father s generosity. A Thousand Acres A Novel Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres A Novel and millions of other books are available for instant access view Kindle eBook view Audible audiobook Enter your mobile number or email address below and we ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. A Thousand Acres A Thousand Acres is a novel by American author Jane Smiley It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Paperback Barnes Noble Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, the concluding volume of The Last Hundred Years trilogy She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley Plot Summary LitCharts Get all the key plot points of Jane Smiley s A Thousand Acres on one page From the creators of SparkNotes. A Thousand Acres Rotten Tomatoes A Thousand Acres Critics Consensus A Thousand Acres makes disappointingly sudsy stuff out of the source material, but benefits from solid performances by a strong cast. A Thousand Acres Summary eNotes A Thousand Acres Homework Help Questions What circumstances need to be present in a society for oppression to exist In order for oppression to occur in a society, the first thing that must exist A Thousand Acres Summary Study Guide BookRags A Thousand Acres Summary Study Guide Description Written in , A Thousand Acres is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by author Jane Smiley A film adaptation was released in starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange The story takes place in a small farming town in Iowa and centers around the Cook family. A Thousand Acres film A Thousand Acres is a American drama film directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jason Robards It is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Jane Smiley, which itself is a reworking of William Shakespeare s King Lear The character of Larry Cook corresponds to the title character of that play, while the

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    About "Jane Smiley"

      • Jane Smiley

        Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist.Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School She obtained a A.B at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A and Ph.D from the University of Iowa While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar From 1981 to 1996, she taught at Iowa State University Smiley published her first novel, Barn Blind, in 1980, and won a 1985 O Henry Award for her short story Lily , which was published in The Atlantic Monthly Her best selling A Thousand Acres, a story based on William Shakespeare s King Lear, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 It was adapted into a film of the same title in 1997 In 1995 she wrote her sole television script produced, for an episode of Homicide Life on the Street Her novella The Age of Grief was made into the 2002 film The Secret Lives of Dentists.Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel 2005 , is a non fiction meditation on the history and the nature of the novel, somewhat in the tradition of E M Forster s seminal Aspects of the Novel, that roams from eleventh century Japan s Murasaki Shikibu s The Tale of Genji to twenty first century Americans chick lit.In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters.


    1. When this book was chosen by our book club for this month's theme of "tragedy," I approached reading it with some trepidation. There are a number of things that I don't care for in literature, and one of them is the family drama which centers on the drama as drama for its own sake, rather than to say something more about the world. Part of my bias against this kind of writing comes from having cut my eyeteeth on science fiction, the literature of ideas which, at its best, is about today as much [...]

    2. For three generations, the Cook family have worked hard to create a thriving agriculture operation, draining swamplands, turning the weeds and grass into rich fertile soil. As time went on, their holdings eventually reached what felt like a magic number to the family – a thousand acres.Larry Cook decides he wants to ensure his legacy continues to flourish and presents a plan to split it between his three daughters and their husbands. Ginny, the eldest and Rose, two years younger agree to compl [...]

    3. Smiley uses King Lear as her framework for this novel. We have the ailing patriarch, a kingdom in decline and his three contesting daughters. And as you’re reading you’re often wondering to what extent Smiley is going to mirror the Shakespeare plot. The plot of King Lear would be melodramatic vaudeville in the hands of a heavy handed author so Smiley is setting herself a huge challenge here. The novel is narrated by Ginny, the eldest of the daughters. In other words Goneril, the most treache [...]

    4. “…Daddy thinks history starts fresh every day, every minute, that time itself begins with the feelings he’s having right now. That’s how he keeps betraying us, why he roars at us with such conviction. We have to stand up to that, and say, at least to ourselves, that what he’s done before is still with us, still right here in this room until there’s true remorse. Nothing will be right until there’s that.” “He looks so, sort of, weakened.” “Weakened is not enough. Destroyed i [...]

    5. In the beginning I felt there were a lot of characters to keep track of, but while some names are mentioned later on that I did not recall that was not actually a problem for me. I only realized while reading other reviews that this was a spin off of King Lear and that helps explain why some of the characters, while otherwise humble, cheated on their spouses and even tried to kill the people closest to them. I thought that the idea of “the death of the American farm” was the most powerful pa [...]

    6. King Lear + 1970's Iowa farm dynasty = riveting storytellingHaving never read Jane Smiley before, I'm glad I started with this dazzling 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner. Set in 1970's Iowa farm country, we follow the Cook family: Larry, the cruel, no-nonsense patriarch, and his daughters Ginny (the narrator), Rose and Caroline. At the onset of the story, Larry decides to retire and pass down the farm to his daughters and their husbands. Caroline, the youngest, the only daughter who managed to get off [...]

    7. Rose: "Forgiveness is a reflex for when you can't stand what you know. I resisted that reflex. That's my sole, solitary, lonely accomplishment."This is a story about a family and their one thousand acre farm in Zebulon County, Iowa. It is a detailed account of life on an American farm. Three sisters had to live through the memories of their childhood, the death of their mother, and the relationship they all had with their father. Betrayal, trust, loyalty, and fate were slowly building up a tower [...]

    8. Hawkeyes, Hayseeds and HotheadsFlammable Flamily SecretsWinner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1991 National Book Critics Circle fiction award, Jane Smiley's novel represents a robust, red-faced reworking of Shakespeare's King Lear, a family tragedy set against the bucolic Iowa farmland. Lear here is Larry Cook, an elderly farmer who owns 1,000 acres he decides to gift to his three daughters via a business entity. The oldest daughter Ginny is thrilled, the youngest daughter Caroli [...]

    9. The family dynamics of this knock-about tale remind me of a ride that I haven't been on since I was a kid: Bumper cars. Chances are, you've been in one too. This character-driven narrative hammered out many complexities shared among family members. In this case, the Cooks. The author presented a dynamic, well-written storyline with twists and turns that kept me amused, bewildered and saddened. The main characters and there were several, were well-developed. So much so that I felt a connection wi [...]

    10. “People keep secrets when other people don’t want to hear the truth.”“A Thousand Acres” is one of those novels that kind of creeps up on you. You do not realize it is pulling you in, but it does so bit by bit. Every time I picked up the book, I read for long periods. The novel is a modern version (slight retelling) of Shakespeare’s “King Lear.” The text begin in 1979 on an Iowa farm, and is told from the perspective of the eldest of three daughters, Ginny Cook. Ginny is the surro [...]

    11. Written in 1991, Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer-winning A Thousand Acres pretends to be about the death of the American farm but, if I’ve ever read a book richer in subtext, I cannot recall it. She tells the story via the lives of three daughters of a third generation farming family in Iowa in the 1970’s. Through the obsequious character of Ginny, Smiley describes the ethos of small town/agrarian American life in unrelenting detail and, by doing so, she describes the death of an American myth.The [...]

    12. Well that was depressing. I don't even know what to say about it, other than the fact that despite my serious issues with the lack of morality and accountability from both older sisters, and the obnoxious baby sister who deliberately stuck her head in the sand, the book moved me deeply.Perhaps it's because I related to the darkest parts of it all too well. The melancholy mixed with the loneliness that the choice to stick up for oneself and break free will inevitably bring, felt like a heavy, dus [...]

    13. SLATTED CORNCRIBS AND MARY JANESIt’s kind of slightly fun to see how Jane Smiley gets all the lurid plot of King Lear into her tale of the decline and fall of an Iowa farming family. For instanceOut, vile jelly! Where is thy lustre now?the famous scene where the Earl of Gloucester is blinded onstage (ewww, really?) gets transformed into an accident with a farm machine which squirts ammonia into a farmer’s eyes; and a war between the branches of the family becomes a court case. And the reason [...]

    14. Ok, I got to page 267 of this book and I figured that life was too short to go ahead with this torture. What was the Pulitzer committee thinking when they awarded the prize to this DREADFUL book? I found it so excrutiatingly dull as to be an exercise in nothing more than endurance. Smiley's story of the decline of an Iowa farm family is ostensibly based on King Lear. In reality it has no remote resemblance to King Lear, who was a sympathetically tragic character – perhaps one of his greatest. [...]

    15. This won a Pulitzer Prize and acts as yet another testament to why the Pulitzer Prize should largely be ignored. However, the fact that it did win a Pulitzer makes me feel less embarrassed about reading iteven if it was just for class.A Thousand Acres, told from the middle of three daughters, is a story about a small farming community in rural Iowa during the mid-1970s and is loosely based on King Lear. A bunch of tragic shit happens that is mostly the fault of the men. This proves to be Smiley' [...]

    16. I know a guy who grew up in a small rural village in Sweden. It was a small, tight-knit community. Everybody knew everybody. And nobody was different. If someone took up a hobby, say, macramé pretty soon all the women would be doing it. It was all very Stepford; difference was not something to be encouraged. He got out of there as soon as he could. Imagine, though, how it would be to live like that: under the constant eyes of your community, gossip buzzing around about you, judging you and weig [...]

    17. Wow!! The drama and impact of this Pulitzer Prize winning novel increases more and more the further you go. A compelling read that I highly recommend. The family dynamics of both the Cook family and their nearest neighbors, the Clarks, start off seemingly so smooth and normal and unravel so completely.Plenty to think about so more may come

    18. A simple story-family lives on and works a 1,000 acre farm that has been in the family for four generations. Father, Larry, decides to retire and leave the farm to his three daughters. Dad acts funky, daughters become concerned, family unravels, peope die, people get angry, people leave, etc. Boring, right? Wrong!! The beauty of this story IS its simplicity. However, the characters, like real people are quite complex. They move through life vastly unaware of their motivations. Through the course [...]

    19. A clunky retelling of Lear. Only at the very end do you get a touch of Lear's darkness, but it's not enough to save the novel. One of the most overrated novels I've ever read. I think this book won some awards, and might have been an Oprah Book before there were Oprah Books. A classic example of why some awards and book club favorites are not to be trusted. Come to think of it, I've only read one great novel by Smiley, The Greenlanders. And that book is unlike anything else she's done.

    20. This is the story of a farming family in the second half of the 20th century, a domineering, abusive patriarch and his three adult daughters. When the father unexpectedly decides to sign over the farm to his daughters and son-in-laws, he kicks over the first domino in a chain of events which will shatter the daughters’ coping mechanisms and topple the precarious family structure. This is brilliantly written, each character so finely painted, the interactions so nuanced, individual motivations [...]

    21. I just didn't get this book. I think this Pulitzer Prize winning book was just over my head.This story involves a Iowa farm family (3 daughters with their husbands and their overbearing, stubborn, old school father). Their farm is their life (with the exception of one daughter, Caroline, who became a lawyer). The father decides to relinguish control over the family farm and sign it over to his two oldest daughters, Ginny and Rose, and their husbands (Ty and Frank?) . Well he immediately regrets [...]

    22. I loved this Shakespeare-by-way-of-Steinbeck Lear of the Corn. I read it directly after a re-read of Lear, so some of my pleasure came from seeing how clever Smiley is with her source, but it's a tremendous book in any case.It's insanely ambitious to try to write Lear as a novel at all; it's a crazy play and most of it doesn't make any real-world sense. Realism isn't really the point there. But Smiley has figured most of it out. She makes dad's Alzheimer's explicit, of course, and adds some back [...]

    23. Such a 5 star book!!!!!This will be a great book to discuss.I listened to it on Audible and the narrator was excellent. Actually, I am exhausted now, I feel as though I lived through this bookThe discussion starts on August 1st, /All About Books group.

    24. This book won a Pulitzer back in that day, and that pisses me off. Although, really, I should know better by now. I'm always burned by the Pulitzers.Based on the rough plot of King Lear, yes, which is objectively the worst of Shakespeare's plays and that should say something. This book is an excellent example of why everyone should leave psychological novels to the Russians and Henry James. Nothing strictly happens, of course, just like in Lear (except there, at least, everyone dies in interesti [...]

    25. I've had mixed reviews for Jane Smiley's booksbut loved this one and now understand the Pulitzer Prize and the hype about her writing.

    26. Jane's EndingsI guess there is nothing so frightening as families. As a child, as a young person, your family forms the air you breathe, the landscape you accept as the world. It can take a long time to discover there is something amiss in your family, because you think that is just the way things are everywhere. Smiley's A Thousand Acres embarks on the unlayering of such a discovery so gently, so beautifully, that it's hard to believe that she has brought you, safe in your armchair, face to fac [...]

    27. Reading Dunbar, the latest Shakespearean retelling of the King Lear story, made me want to revisit this old favourite. I have so many unread books, yet sometimes there is also much pleasure in rereading. I don't think it quite had the same impact on me as the first time I read it, in the early 1990s, but I still hugely admire this novel. The main thing I didn't like about Edward St. Aubyn's version was the viciousness of the two older sisters; and of course the really brilliant idea that Jane Sm [...]

    28. Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres, (Harper Perennial, London, 2004)This is an interesting novel, to say the least. I came to it with prejudice, I must admit, as it's a reworking of Shakespeare's King Lear, a play that I love and that I'm currently working on for my dissertation. So then, on reading the blurb, I immediately thought that Smiley's novel would involve her murdering the play. I was wrong.What happens, in fact, is that Smiley puts her own spin on the story of Lear and his daughters, just [...]

    29. You can't say the youngest sis was the evil one, and you can't say the old man was the fatuous oneBut you can say that life is not fair, and destiny is unfortunate, who says no?And this was merely what I could do after I'd finished reading this

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