WRITING IS AN ALMOST SISYPHEAN TASK: PUSHING THE BOULDER OF
narrative up the ever-steepening slope of countless sentences and paragraphs, only to start over— revising, replacing, and deleting the product of previous climbs, always eyeing the horizon line of clear, engaging, well honed prose. For me personally, I marvel at the fact that books are ever completed at all and, given the opportunity to interview a prolific and talented author like Jane Smiley, my first thought was: "how does she do it?" Part of the answer, is that Smiley keeps at it on an almost daily basis and the results are formidable: her novel A Thousand Acres won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel The All True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has contributed to a wide range of well respected magazines, including The New Yorker, Elle, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper's. Her most recent novel is Private Life.