Jane Smiley has written close to 20 novels, including the best seller, King Lear inspired A Thousand Acres, for which she received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992.
Her non fiction includes a memoir, biographies, including one on Charles Dickens, an essay on knitting, Why Bother and a celebration of fiction - with 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel.
Her latest work The Most Important Questions is a collection of essays that explore ancient Icelandic sagas; the paucity of maternal voices in literature; the radical muckraking; child development through examining Little Women, and history versus historical fiction.
Throughout are personal reflections on Jane Smiley's own upbringing and its influence on her writing.
Jane Smiley will be in the country in February as a guest talker at the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts.