iOS app Android app

Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley is a novelist and essayist. Her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. Her novel Horse Heaven was short-listed for the Orange Prize in 2002. She has contributed to a wide range of magazines, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, The American Prospect, Practical Horseman, The Guardian Sport Monthly, Real Simple, and Playboy. Smiley's latest book is Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, a history and anatomy of the novel as a literary form (Knopf).

She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Entries by Jane Smiley

LETTERS TO THE FUTURE: I Didn't Try to Save You as Hard as My Opponents Tried to Destroy You

(0) Comments | Posted November 29, 2015 | 3:43 PM


The following post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Letters to the Future, in conjunction with the U.N.'s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris (Nov. 30-Dec. 11), aka the climate-change conference. Letters to the Future is...

Read Post

A Few Remedies for the Right to Bear Arms

(3484) Comments | Posted December 18, 2012 | 11:37 AM

Last night at dinner, my husband said, "There's no solution." We were talking, of course, about gun control, and it is true that the flood of guns and ammo into our neighborhoods and our nation is daunting. There is no solution. But the first thing I thought of was my...

Read Post

Divorce! It's Good for the Children!

(757) Comments | Posted November 12, 2010 | 8:22 AM

When I asked my older daughter what she thought of my divorce from her father (she is 32), she said, "Do you really think I wish we had remained in that suffocating little four-person family?" But my daughter is a pro-divorce radical. Even as a teenager, when she dated boys...

Read Post

Noble Nobel Prize Winner Mario Vargas Llosa

(92) Comments | Posted October 9, 2010 | 9:30 AM

In May, 2009, at the New York press conference for the announcement of the Man Booker International Prize shortlist (I chaired the jury), I remarked that I considered Mario Vargas Llosa's 1981 novel "The War of the End of the World" "the book 'War and Peace' wanted to be." I...

Read Post

Capitalist Pigs

(191) Comments | Posted January 16, 2010 | 5:22 PM

The horror that is the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake has many of us, of course, looking around for explanations of why Haiti is so poor. Since I have no ideas to offer for the resurrection of Haiti, I've spent my time looking for people to blame, and there...

Read Post

Stop The Injustice: Free Gary McKinnon

(193) Comments | Posted November 28, 2009 | 7:41 AM

If you read the Guardian, then you know already that the screaming injustice that is about to be perpetrated on Scottish computer hacker Gary McKinnon has taken another step toward the cruel and unusual. McKinnon is a 43-year-old man from North London who, in 2001 and 2002, hacked into...

Read Post

HuffPost Book Review: Republican Gomorrah

(59) Comments | Posted September 17, 2009 | 2:56 PM

About twenty years ago, I read an article about a death row inmate who had shot a clerk in a convenience store. The way the murder was presented by the man on death row was mysterious--his hand just rose up and the gun went off. Shooting the clerk in the...

Read Post

Other Economists in the Room

(399) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 9:31 PM

Well, I read every word of Paul Krugman's article about the failure of Economics as a discipline and of economists as a group, and I don't disagree with any of it, but he is missing out on some big issues that also need to be discussed and understood before...

Read Post

Retreat and Surrender

(379) Comments | Posted September 3, 2009 | 9:52 AM

Make no mistake about it, health care reform and the public option are the turning point for Obama and this country. Today's New York Times is reporting that factions in the White House are arguing about what compromises they will make in order to get health care reform passed. They...

Read Post

What's the Big Deal?

(177) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 9:23 AM

I understand that while I was uploading old photos onto Facebook, some joker was on All Things Considered, going on about how we can't afford to take the time or the money to investigate tortures committed by the Bush administration. Have to move on, I suppose. This is like deciding...

Read Post

What Now?

(575) Comments | Posted August 16, 2009 | 1:32 PM

It's pretty evident that Obama is caught between rock and a hard place, but the trap is one he made for himself, and those of us on the left who hoped that he would not make this trap now have to ask ourselves some very difficult questions. The first of...

Read Post

Dick Cheney is Crazy. Really.

(289) Comments | Posted May 21, 2009 | 8:22 PM

In 2002, my partner was driving his new van down a busy, but two lane, road near our house. He was slowly passing a major accident that crossed both lanes of the road, and it so happened that one of the tow trucks, which was going too fast, ran into...

Read Post

Joe Biden Asked Me For Money Today

(383) Comments | Posted December 18, 2008 | 6:18 PM

Every week or so, Joe Biden sends me an email and tells me how expensive the transition is, and asks me to contribute yet again. This morning, after I gasped at the ridiculous choice of homophobe and anti-choice activist Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Inaugural, there was...

Read Post

Take That

(53) Comments | Posted November 3, 2008 | 6:20 PM

I have to admit that from time to time during the Bush years, I have watched my fellow Americans support all kinds of cruelty and insanity, from the bombing of Baghdad and Fallujah to the ignoring of Hurricane Katrina to the torturing of taxi drivers in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo...

Read Post

Goodbye, Cruel World

(324) Comments | Posted October 28, 2008 | 10:49 PM

The world would be a better place if the American right wing had never existed. Thousands of Americans and Iraqis would still be alive, tens of thousands or Iraqis would still be living in their own homes. The American economy would not have hopped from bubble to bubble if...

Read Post

William Ayers and John McCain

(176) Comments | Posted October 4, 2008 | 10:39 AM

Every time I think of William Ayers, I also think of John McCain, because they are of the same era, and they both believed in the efficacy of violence. According to an article in Friday's New York Times, McCain once said of Ayers, "How can you countenance someone who...

Read Post

What Part of "We Don't Trust You" Do You Not Understand?

(54) Comments | Posted October 1, 2008 | 2:33 PM

Yup, we're in a mess now, and no one quite understands what the mess is or what will happen, but everyone knows who got us here. I guess my favorite article on the bailout is by Ben Stein, at the NY Times, who I don't think is voting for the...

Read Post

That Look On Her Face

(96) Comments | Posted September 26, 2008 | 1:59 PM

So, I watched pieces of the Palin interviews with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson. I turned off the sound just so that I could read her facial expressions. I recommend it. Her facial expressions and her hand gestures are quite interesting because they are those of someone who knows she...

Read Post

Paulson Reveals Election Will be Stolen by Republicans

(15) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 8:34 PM

Got your attention, didn't I? Actually, what "The Hank" revealed is that he wants the guy in his position to have a free hand in giving taxpayer money away to his friends, and never have to answer for how he makes the handouts. Yes, it's a stick up. But really,...

Read Post

Monster in a Box

(85) Comments | Posted September 15, 2008 | 12:49 PM

Turns out that the McCain campaign has been right about one thing, if one thing only, and that is that we can tell by Sarah Palin's short stint as an executive just what sort of executive she will be. Think of Cruella de Vil or The Evil Queen in "Snow...

Read Post