Jane Smiley at the Iowa City Public Library in conversation with IPR's Charity Nebbe

Jane Smiley at the Iowa City Public Library in conversation with IPR's Charity Nebbe promotional image

Please join us at the Iowa City Public Library for a special afternoon event with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley, who will read from her new novel, Lucky. She will be joined in conversation by Iowa Public Radio's Charity Nebbe. Lucky is a soaring, soulful novel about a folk musician who rises to fame across our changing times. "Before Jodie Rattler became a star, she was a girl growing up in St. Louis. One day in 1955, when she was just 6 years old, her Uncle Drew took her to the racetrack, where she got lucky—and that roll of two-dollar bills she won has never since left her side. Jodie thrived in the warmth of her extended family, and then—through a combination of hard work and serendipity—started a singing career, which catapulted her from St. Louis to New York City, from the English countryside to the tropical beaches of St. Thomas, from Cleveland to Los Angeles, and back again. Jodie comes of age in recording studios, backstage, and on tour, and tries to hold her own in the wake of Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Joni Mitchell. Yet it feels like something is missing. Could it be true love? Or is that not actually what Jodie is looking for? Full of atmosphere, shot through with longing and exuberance, romance and rock'n'roll, Lucky is a story of chance and grit and the glitter of real talent, a colorful portrait of one woman's journey in search of herself"- Knopf

Jane Smiley is one of Iowa's most beloved authors thanks to the years she spent in Iowa from her time at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and while acquiring not just her Workshop MFA but also an MA and PhD from the University of Iowa followed by many years teaching at Iowa State. From her first published book, Barn Blind, to Moo, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres, on through her award-winning trilogy The Last Hundred Years, Iowa has held a strong presence in her work. Her work spans an impressive stylistic and geographic range as well, as Pico Iyer says, “She turns literary and stylistic cartwheels. … Is there anything Jane Smiley cannot do?”

Smiley is the best-selling author of numerous novels, short stories, nonfiction, and books for young adults. A Pulitzer Prize winner, she is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She now lives in Northern California.

Charity Nebbe has been the host of Talk of Iowa on Iowa Public Radio since 2010. In addition to her award-winning radio work Charity is also the host of Iowa Ingredient on Iowa Public Television and is co-founder of Let Me Run Eastern Iowa Corridor, a character development and running program for boys.

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Sunday, April 28, 2024 2:00pm
Iowa City Public Library
Meeting Rooms A,B,C
123 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240
View on Event Calendar
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Kathleen Johnson in advance at 319-337-2681 or prairielight17@prairielights.com.