Jane Smiley Biography | Author of Long Distance

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Smiley was born on September 26, 1949, in Los Angeles, California. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and the author was raised by her journalist mother, Frances, in St. Louis, Missouri. Smiley benefited from the close contact of her mother's large extended family, whose stories have appeared in many of Smiley's own works.

After graduating from high school in 1967, Smiley attended Vassar College in New York, where she graduated in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in English literature. During this time, she also met John Whiston, a student at Yale University. The two were married in 1970. After graduation, they moved to Iowa City, where Smiley eventually began graduate work in English literature at the University of Iowa, earning her master of arts degree in 1975. At the same time, Smiley applied for admission to the university's prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop but was initially turned down. After honing her...

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This section contains 466 words
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Buy the Long Distance Study Guide
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Long Distance from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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