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  • I still don't know how Smiley did it, the voices in A Thousand Acres are so raw and true, right from the first page. It's as if she has channelled them, rather than invented them. It has Biblical sweep – that broad sense of the epic – but Smiley is poignant on the daily-ness of life, cooking, cleaning and the way one sister feels when she finds she can't have children .

  • It’s been almost 25 years since Smiley won the Pulitzer Prize for A Thousand Acres. With the Last One Hundred Years trilogy, she surely confirms her place alongside Roth, Updike and Bellow as one of the truly great chroniclers of 20th-century American life.


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