Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley


A Thousand Acres

Carmel, CA USA

You stand a much better chance of being successful at something you really want to do than something you're only doing reluctantly.


By Roadtrip Nation

Jane Smiley


My road in life has been direct.
Was never scared, never felt pressure to do well financially because she "was an idiot."
Obtained a double degree in creative writing and medieval English literature from Iowa State University in 1978.
She was content to live a very simple life so that she could go to graduate school, write her novels.
Was "going along, writing her novels" and living this simple life until she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, found sudden success.
Believes that you won't be "humiliated" by starting at the bottom if you're at the bottom of a ladder you really want to climb.
Likens building a career to learning to skateboard; "all those times you fell off, you weren't bothered to be humiliated; you just wanted to do it."
The people who are scared to fall or embarrassed to fail are "focused on the wrong thing," "aren't going to get anywhere."
Says all of her friends who gave up their passions later felt "lost," didn't know who they were by the time they turned forty or fifty.
Keep following my journey



I'm a writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "A Thousand Acres."

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Interviewed By

Anonymous Student