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Jane Smiley

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2010
Jane Smiley, the California author of a dozen wildly different books, tackles half a century of events in the life of Margaret Early, a plain girl who gets married off to an eccentric scientist, in "Private Life." The pair move to San Francisco, where they suffer a series of internal and external disasters, but the knowledge that Margaret has married a madman is what keeps the pages turning. The Washington Post has called "Private Life" a "quantum leap" for this already accomplished writer, who will sign her latest work.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Joan Didion had it right. In her 1976 essay “Why I Write,” originally published in the New York Times Book Review, she lays out the template in no uncertain terms: “In many ways writing is the act of saying I , of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind . It's an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions -...
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 2010 | By Richard Eder, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Private Life A Novel Jane Smiley Alfred A. Knopf: 324 pp., $26.95 "O the wo that is in marriage," the Wife of Bath proclaimed while emerging, for all that, lusty and free. In her new novel, Jane Smiley stirs up marital woe as thick as mud, yet her female protagonist never manages to send up more than a rebellious bubble or two before sinking back under. The sardonically titled "Private Life" — the one that Margaret and Andrew Early construct is a fetid horror — loads the dice.
HOME & GARDEN
August 7, 2010 | Chris Erskine
MAN OF THE HOUSE By Chris Erskine They say these Kindles and other electronic reading gizmos will replace books one of these days, and to that I say, "NOT SOON ENOUGH!" I am all for that. I can never get paperbacks or hardcovers to work. They won't hold a charge, and they're so hard to reboot. The other day, I was trying to upgrade a cherished old copy of "The Great Gatsby" and I couldn't get the install to go. Then it froze up on me. I mean, it wouldn't do anything, this stupid book.
BOOKS
November 19, 1989 | CHARLES SOLOMON
In this collection of short stories, Jane Smiley writes about contemporary romances that lack the commitment, understanding and respect which distinguished L'Engle's marriage. Her self-involved characters quickly tire of each other, their relationships and themselves. At the first sign of trouble, one or both partners simply decamp, physically or emotionally.
BOOKS
November 10, 1991 | RICHARD EDER
A problem novel is a problem. If it is a detective story, say, or an exposure of conditions in the Chicago stockyards, we take it on its own singleminded level--solving the mystery or learning about the conditions. It needs to be lucidly and enthrallingly expounded; apart from that, we are simply grateful for whatever adornments of style or character may be thrown in. When it is a full-fledged work of fiction, though, we feel two currents tug against each other.
BOOKS
October 18, 1987 | Laura Furman, Furman's short story collections are "The Glass House" and "Watch Time Fly," and her latest novel is "Tuxedo Park" (Summit). and
After a reading of Jane Smiley's new collection of stories and her title novella, "The Age of Grief," it is the characters' delight in the pleasing surface of the world that stays longest with the reader. Some of Smiley's characters are charmingly conceited. Some worry about each other, their children, about themselves. They fear accidents and see dirty windowsills as a sign of creeping chaos.
BOOKS
April 2, 1995 | RICHARD EDER
Satire, as show-biz has it, is what closes Saturday night. That says more about show-biz than about satire, but properly adjusted it makes a point. Satire is great but it oughtn't to run on into next week. For an author whose novels are as emotionally arduous as Jane Smiley's--her muse must shed 15 pounds each time she wrestles with it--a carousal on the order of "Moo" must be a relief. For the reader it is fun but perhaps not quite as much fun.
NEWS
June 4, 1995 | ELIZABETH MEHREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On a lecture tour recently, Jane Smiley found herself in the midst of an accountants' convention. It occurred to her, standing among these men and women in cookie-cutter dark business suits, that they probably lead lives very different from her own. The majority of them, for example, may not prefer to do their work in pajamas, regardless of the hour. Not all of them shop for groceries via fax machine. Some might favor people over horses--or one horse, a 16-year-old thoroughbred named Tick-Tock.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 28, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Joan Didion had it right. In her 1976 essay “Why I Write,” originally published in the New York Times Book Review, she lays out the template in no uncertain terms: “In many ways writing is the act of saying I , of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind . It's an aggressive, even a hostile act. You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions -...
ENTERTAINMENT
May 15, 2010
POP MUSIC Joshua Tree Music Festival When it comes to desert music festivals, Coachella isn't the only game in town. The eighth annual Joshua Tree Music Festival offers three days of eclectic live music under the expansive sky of the Mojave. Scheduled performers include the Afrobeat artist Wunmi and the Bulgarian-born singer-songwriter Geri X. Joshua Tree Lake Campground, 2601 Sunfair Road, Joshua Tree. 11 a.m.-midnight Sat.; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sun. $50-$80 per day. (877) 327-6265.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 13, 2010
Jane Smiley, the California author of a dozen wildly different books, tackles half a century of events in the life of Margaret Early, a plain girl who gets married off to an eccentric scientist, in "Private Life." The pair move to San Francisco, where they suffer a series of internal and external disasters, but the knowledge that Margaret has married a madman is what keeps the pages turning. The Washington Post has called "Private Life" a "quantum leap" for this already accomplished writer, who will sign her latest work.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 2010 | By Richard Eder, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Private Life A Novel Jane Smiley Alfred A. Knopf: 324 pp., $26.95 "O the wo that is in marriage," the Wife of Bath proclaimed while emerging, for all that, lusty and free. In her new novel, Jane Smiley stirs up marital woe as thick as mud, yet her female protagonist never manages to send up more than a rebellious bubble or two before sinking back under. The sardonically titled "Private Life" — the one that Margaret and Andrew Early construct is a fetid horror — loads the dice.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2009 | Carolyn Kellogg
Leaning against a black couch in his office, Sherman Alexie is laughing. He laughs often and easily -- at others' jokes and his own, at sarcasm and silliness -- and his laughter is contagious. Last year, he cracked up Stephen Colbert when he appeared on "The Colbert Report." Fans are known to walk away from Alexie's book signings gasping for air, wiping their eyes. But the photographer sent to take his photo wasn't laughing. For the umpteenth time, he gently asked Alexie to be serious for a moment.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2009 | Jane Smiley, Smiley's latest novel, "Ten Days in the Hills," was recently published in paperback.
Back in the late 1990s, I wrote a novel about horse racing. Though I portrayed an array of socioeconomic actors from horse grooms to multimillionaires, it was as easy for me to empathize with the industrialist building his engine-parts factory in China as it was to empathize with the Latino apprentice jockey. I didn't mind the inequities all that much, because everyone in the novel was engaged in a single enterprise, and therefore more alike, I thought, than different.
BOOKS
February 11, 2007 | Tara Ison, Tara Ison is the author of the novels "A Child Out of Alcatraz" and the forthcoming "The List."
HERE'S a story for you: "A group of ten young people over the course of ten days" comes together "in a luxurious retreat from the horrors" of their chaotic society. They discuss "everyday concerns, and uneasiness about, on the one hand, money, and on the other hand, God." This narrative offers "celebrity named characters in several stories....
NEWS
September 2, 1992
Four books by Americans are the finalists in the competition for the fourth Irish Times-Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize. The prize, this year worth $47,000, is the largest annual award for a work of fiction published in the United States, Ireland or the United Kingdom. The nominated books are "Jazz" by Toni Morrison, "Mating" by Norman Rush and "A Thousand Acres" by Jane Smiley, all published by Alfred A.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2007 | Maria Russo, Times Staff Writer
JANE SMILEY was walking on a sunny afternoon near the top of San Remo, a winding street in Pacific Palisades. This was the block where the 57-year-old novelist pictured the home of Max, the possibly past-his-prime Oscar-winning film director who's at the center of her new book, "Ten Days in the Hills." It's billed as a Hollywood novel, but it's just as much a novel about sex, and it's a novel that feels burrowed into Los Angeles' landscape and real estate.
BOOKS
October 16, 2005 | Wendy Smith, Wendy Smith is the author of "Real Life Drama: The Group Theatre and America, 1931-1940."
JANE SMILEY'S unmediated voice -- blunt, uncompromising and witty -- rings from every page of her engaging meditation "Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel."
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