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A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
is a 1991 novel by American author Jane Smiley. It won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1991 and was adapted to a 1997 film of the same name. The novel is a modernized retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear
King Lear
and is set on a thousand-acre (four hundred hectares) farm in Iowa
Iowa
that is owned by a family of a father and his three daughters. It is told through the point of view of the oldest daughter, Ginny.

Contents

1 Plot summary 2 Similarities to King Lear

2.1 Correspondences between the characters in the novel and in the play

3 References 4 External links

Plot summary[edit] Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is removed from the agreement. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions, as the story eventually reveals the long-term sexual abuse of the two eldest daughters that was committed by their father. The plot also focuses on Ginny's troubled marriage, her difficulties in bearing a child and her relationship with her family. Similarities to King Lear[edit] There are many similarities between King Lear
King Lear
and A Thousand Acres, including both plot details and character development.[1] For example, some of the names of the main characters in the novel are reminiscent of their Shakespearean counterparts. Larry is Lear, Ginny is Goneril, Rose is Regan, and Caroline is Cordelia. The role of the Cooks' neighbors, Harold Clark and his sons Loren and Jess, also rework the importance of Gloucester, Edgar and Edmund in King Lear. The novel maintains major themes present in Lear, namely: gender roles, appearances vs. reality, generational conflict, hierarchical structures (the Great chain of being), madness, and the powerful force of nature.[1] Correspondences between the characters in the novel and in the play[edit]

Larry Cook = King Lear Ginny Cook Smith = Goneril Rose Cook Lewis = Regan Caroline Cook Rasmussen = Cordelia Frank Rasmussen = King of France Ty Smith = Duke of Albany Pete Lewis = Duke of Cornwall Jess Clark = Edmund Harold Clark = Earl of Gloucester Loren Clark = Edgar Marv Carson (The Fool)[2]

References[edit]

^ a b https://www.nytimes.com/books/98/04/05/specials/smiley-acres.html ^ " King Lear
King Lear
in a CornField". 

External links[edit]

Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley
discusses A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
on the BBC World Book Club Photos of the first edition of A Thousand Acres

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Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

1918–1925

His Family
His Family
by Ernest Poole
Ernest Poole
(1918) The Magnificent Ambersons
The Magnificent Ambersons
by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1919) The Age of Innocence
The Age of Innocence
by Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton
(1921) Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
Booth Tarkington
(1922) One of Ours
One of Ours
by Willa Cather
Willa Cather
(1923) The Able McLaughlins
The Able McLaughlins
by Margaret Wilson (1924) So Big by Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber
(1925)

1926–1950

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
(declined) (1926) Early Autumn
Early Autumn
by Louis Bromfield
Louis Bromfield
(1927) The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
by Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1928) Scarlet Sister Mary
Scarlet Sister Mary
by Julia Peterkin (1929) Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge (1930) Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes (1931) The Good Earth
The Good Earth
by Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck
(1932) The Store
The Store
by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
Thomas Sigismund Stribling
(1933) Lamb in His Bosom
Lamb in His Bosom
by Caroline Pafford Miller
Caroline Pafford Miller
(1934) Now in November
Now in November
by Josephine Winslow Johnson (1935) Honey in the Horn
Honey in the Horn
by Harold L. Davis (1936) Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell
(1937) The Late George Apley
The Late George Apley
by John Phillips Marquand (1938) The Yearling
The Yearling
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
(1939) The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
(1940) In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
Ellen Glasgow
(1942) Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
Upton Sinclair
(1943) Journey in the Dark
Journey in the Dark
by Martin Flavin (1944) A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
John Hersey
(1945) All the King's Men
All the King's Men
by Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren
(1947) Tales of the South Pacific
Tales of the South Pacific
by James A. Michener
James A. Michener
(1948) Guard of Honor
Guard of Honor
by James Gould Cozzens (1949) The Way West
The Way West
by A. B. Guthrie Jr. (1950)

1951–1975

The Town by Conrad Richter (1951) The Caine Mutiny
The Caine Mutiny
by Herman Wouk
Herman Wouk
(1952) The Old Man and the Sea
The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway
(1953) A Fable
A Fable
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1955) Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
MacKinlay Kantor
(1956) A Death in the Family
A Death in the Family
by James Agee
James Agee
(1958) The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
by Robert Lewis Taylor (1959) Advise and Consent
Advise and Consent
by Allen Drury
Allen Drury
(1960) To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Harper Lee
(1961) The Edge of Sadness
The Edge of Sadness
by Edwin O'Connor (1962) The Reivers
The Reivers
by William Faulkner
William Faulkner
(1963) The Keepers of the House
The Keepers of the House
by Shirley Ann Grau (1965) The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
by Katherine Anne Porter (1966) The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Bernard Malamud
(1967) The Confessions of Nat Turner
The Confessions of Nat Turner
by William Styron
William Styron
(1968) House Made of Dawn
House Made of Dawn
by N. Scott Momaday
N. Scott Momaday
(1969) The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford
by Jean Stafford
Jean Stafford
(1970) Angle of Repose
Angle of Repose
by Wallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner
(1972) The Optimist's Daughter
The Optimist's Daughter
by Eudora Welty
Eudora Welty
(1973) The Killer Angels
The Killer Angels
by Michael Shaara (1975)

1976–2000

Humboldt's Gift
Humboldt's Gift
by Saul Bellow
Saul Bellow
(1976) Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
James Alan McPherson
(1978) The Stories of John Cheever
The Stories of John Cheever
by John Cheever
John Cheever
(1979) The Executioner's Song
The Executioner's Song
by Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer
(1980) A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
John Kennedy Toole
(1981) Rabbit Is Rich
Rabbit Is Rich
by John Updike
John Updike
(1982) The Color Purple
The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
Alice Walker
(1983) Ironweed by William Kennedy (1984) Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie (1985) Lonesome Dove
Lonesome Dove
by Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
(1986) A Summons to Memphis
A Summons to Memphis
by Peter Taylor (1987) Beloved by Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison
(1988) Breathing Lessons
Breathing Lessons
by Anne Tyler (1989) The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
by Oscar Hijuelos (1990) Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
John Updike
(1991) A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley
Jane Smiley
(1992) A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
by Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler
(1993) The Shipping News
The Shipping News
by E. Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx
(1994) The Stone Diaries
The Stone Diaries
by Carol Shields (1995) Independence Day by Richard Ford
Richard Ford
(1996) Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser (1997) American Pastoral
American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
Philip Roth
(1998) The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham
(1999) Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri
(2000)

2001–present

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
(2001) Empire Falls
Empire Falls
by Richard Russo
Richard Russo
(2002) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides
(2003) The Known World
The Known World
by Edward P. Jones (2004) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson
(2005) March by Geraldine Brooks (2006) The Road
The Road
by Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy
(2007) The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz
(2008) Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout
(2009) Tinkers by Paul Harding (2010) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan
(2011) No award given (2012) The Orphan Master's Son
The Orphan Master's Son
by Adam Johnson (2013) The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2014) All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr
(2015) The Sympathizer
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen
(2016) The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead
(2017)

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William Shakespeare's King Lear

Characters

King Lear Cordelia Goneril Regan Edmund

Sources

Historia Regum Britanniae
Historia Regum Britanniae
(1136) The Mirror for Magistrates
The Mirror for Magistrates
(1555) Holinshed's Chronicles
Holinshed's Chronicles
(1577) King Leir
King Leir
(1594) "Water and Salt"

Related

Llŷr Leir of Britain Cordelia of Britain

Adaptations

Plays

The History of King Lear
King Lear
(1681) The Yiddish King Lear
King Lear
(1892) Safed Khoon
Safed Khoon
(1907) Lear (1971)

Novels

La Terre
La Terre
(1887) A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
(1991) Fool (2009)

Opera

Re Lear
Re Lear
(Libretto only) (1896) Lear (1978) Kuningas Lear
Kuningas Lear
(2000)

Films

King Lear
King Lear
(1910) King Lear
King Lear
(1916) Gunasundari Katha
Gunasundari Katha
(1949) King Lear
King Lear
(1971 USSR) King Lear
King Lear
(1971 UK) Ran (1985) King Lear
King Lear
(1987) A Thousand Acres
A Thousand Acres
(1997) Gypsy Lore
Gypsy Lore
(1997) King Lear
King Lear
(1999) My Kingdom (2001) Second Generation (2003) Life Goes On (2009)

Television

King Lear
King Lear
(1953) BBC Television Shakespeare (1982) King Lear
King Lear
(1983) King of Texas
King of Texas
(2002) King Lear
King Lear
(2008) King Lear
King Lear
(2018)

Story within a story

The Dresser
The Dresser
(1980 play) The Dresser
The Dresser
(1983 film) The Dresser
The Dresser
(2015 film)

Other

Tiriel (1789, poem) The Prince of the Pagodas
The Prince of the Pagodas
(1957, ballet) The Tragedy of King Lear
King Lear
(screenplay)

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