Author Jane Smiley's Newest Book on Long List for National Book Award

Oct 6, 2014

Jane Smiley’s newest novel is the first in a trilogy that will follow one Iowa family over the course of 100 years.

I wanted to write a book about America in the last 100 years... I was thinking about where to start, and one of the most revealing things about a culture is how people feed themselves. And I thought, well, obviously the place to start is Iowa.

  She says she wanted, in part, to write about our relationship with our food and tells Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe that’s why she set the book in Iowa.

In “Some Luck,” Rosanna and Walter Langdon work to pass on their values to their five children, who are all wildly different. Walter fought in WWI, and as he and his wife work to raise their family on their small farm in Iowa, the book moves through the Great Depression and World War II.

Smiley takes a bird’s eye view on the family, weaving stories of individual lives into the greater patchwork of cultural upheaval that marked the beginning of the 21st century. She says the second and third book in the trilogy are due to be released during the spring and summer of 2015, respectively.