Long Distance Criticism

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Both The Age of Grief story collection and "Long Distance" have captured the attention of critics. In Roz Kaveney's 1988 Times Literary Supplement review of the collection, the critic notes, "One of the major strengths of this quiet and unflashy collection by Jane Smiley is that in her stories things actually do happen." Kaveney also says that any moral commentary in the book "comes from the fact that her characters are shown as lovable and their actions as things we just have to accept."

Although other critics have noted the power of Smiley's understated style, some do not agree that all of Smiley's characters in the collection are lovable. In fact, as Thom Conroy says about "Long Distance" in his 2001 entry on Smiley for Dictionary of Literary Biography, "Kirby emerges as one of Smiley's least sympathetic characters." Conroy notes that, unlike other Smiley protagonists, Kirby's "emotional trauma...

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This section contains 357 words
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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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