|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction, 1980-2020|
|Editors||Patrick O'Donnell, Stephen J. Burn, Lesley Larkin|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 25 Mar 2022|
Though born in Los Angeles, Jane Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri. Her 1971 BA in literature from Vassar College was followed by an MA, an MFA, and a PhD, all awarded in the 1970s, and all from the University of Iowa, an institution distinguished for its 1967-founded International Writing Program. For the first fifteen years of her writing career, Jane Smiley was a professor of English at Iowa State University (1981–1996). Her first novel, Barn Blind , was published in 1980. Just over a decade (and four novels) later she garnered wide acclaim for A Thousand Acres (1991), which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The near-400-page novel adapts King Lear to the advent of the Midwestern farm crisis in the 1980s.