The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling novel from one of America's greatest contemporary writers, repackaged as part of the Perennial fiction promotion. Larry Cook's farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. Proud and possessive, his sudden decision to retire and hand over the farm to his ...Read MoreThe Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling novel from one of America's greatest contemporary writers, repackaged as part of the Perennial fiction promotion. Larry Cook's farm is the largest in Zebulon County, Iowa, and a tribute to his hard work and single-mindedness. Proud and possessive, his sudden decision to retire and hand over the farm to his three daughters, is disarmingly uncharacteristic. Ginny and Rose, the two eldest, are startled yet eager to accept, but Caroline, the youngest daughter, has misgivings. Immediately, her father cuts her out. In 'A Thousand Acres', Jane Smiley transposes the 'King Lear' story to the modern day, and in so doing at once illuminates Shakespeare's original and subtly transforms it. This astonishing novel won both of America's highest literary awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics' Circle Award.Read Less
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Smiley hit the nail on the head with dysfunctional familly dynamics. Her characters are true to life and reveal the disparity between performance for appearance sake and what goes on in secret. The novel is certainly a riveting read, but more importantly, it is thought-provoking and illuminating.
Aug 1, 2010
Don't pass this one by
I thoroughly enjoyed this from start to finish. It's a wonderful adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear set on a farm in Iowa. There a few alterations to the Bard's tale: incest, a church dinner gone foul. Also, Smiley's version of sororicide is much more thoughtful and ingenious.
The only problem I had with it: the narrator of the tale (Ginny) uses an educated form of speech that I don't believe would be used by a person who has never been to college nor even left her farm.
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