Join us this summer!
@Oxford. Amherst. Stanford. Dublin.

5 Questions with Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand Acres

Written by gbspcamp on Monday, May 13, 2013

5 Questions with Jane Smiley, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand Acres

Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of  A Thousand Acres , an award-winning short story and nonfiction writer, and is about to publish the fifth book in her series for young readers,  The Horses of Oak Valley Ranch .  Jane will be coming to Stanford this summer to speak, but we were able to sit down with her and ask a few questions about how she came to be a writer.

GBSP: What role did literature play in your childhood?

I wouldn’t call it literature--I read lots of series books like The Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and a series of biographies called The Landmark Series. I read literature in school, sometimes with enjoyment. I loved horse series books like The Black Stallion books, and a series written by a writer names Dorothy Lyons. In 5th grade, our teacher read the Little House books aloud in class, In 7th, 8th, and 9th grades I started really liking some of the books we were assigned, especially Giants in the Earth and David Copperfield. But I always did my homework, and I think that I learned a lot from books that I didn’t enjoy or didn’t understand, like Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar. It’s okay for a work to be mysterious--that can make it more alluring rather than less.

GBSP: Did any one person in your life stand out as fostering a love of writing or literature?

My mother always encouraged me to read--she bought books and didn’t care whether they were respectable or not. She worked at a newspaper, so I often saw her typing up her articles.  GBSP: What was your favorite book as a teenager?  I loved Giants in the Earth, by Ole Rolvaag and David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens

GBSP: Which writers inspired you?

All of them!  GBSP: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No, not until I got to college and took a creative writing class. Before that, I wanted to be a jockey!

GBSP: If you could give one piece of advice to young writers, what would it be?

Read read read.

Category : Author Visits


Related Articles

James Blaylock on Philip K. Dick, His Complaints About Technology, and Steampunk

James Blaylock on Philip K. Dick, His Complaints About Technology, and Steampunk

According to Wikipedia, writer James Blaylock "is noted for a distinctive, humorous style, as well as being one of the pioneers of the steampunk genre of science fiction." Blaylock will be coming to Stanford this fall and we wanted to delve a little deeper into how he started steampunk, his relationship with famed sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, and why James always complains about technology (or is that just the steampunk talking?).

5 Questions with...John Rocco

5 Questions with...John Rocco

Every summer, The Great Books Summer Program welcomes authors and filmmakers from around the country to our campuses at Stanford University and Amherst College to speak with campers. This summer, we decided to sit down with a few of our authors and ask them five questions about their reading and writing lives both as kids and today.

Load More

Popular
More...

Thanks!

Thank you for contacting us!

Our group will review and follow up within 72 hours.
Thanks for your interest!

Back Home ×