A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, A Thousand Acres takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity.
“A family portrait that is also a near-epic investigation into the broad landscape, the thousand dark acres of the human heart. . . . The book has all the stark brutality of a Shakespearean tragedy.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Powerful and poignant.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Superb. . . . There seems to be nothing Smiley can’t write about fabulously well.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It has been a long time since a novel so surprised me with its power to haunt. . . . A Thousand Acres [has] the prismatic quality of the greatest art.” —Chicago Tribune
“A full, commanding novel. . . . A story bound and tethered to a lonely road in the Midwest, but drawn from a universal source. . . . Profoundly American.” —The Boston Globe
WINNER 1991 - National Book Critics Circle Awards
WINNER 1992 - Pulitzer Prize
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Jane Smiley is the author of more than ten works of fiction, including Good Faith, Horse Heaven, Moo, and The Greenlanders. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in northern California.