دانلود رایگان کتاب A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley
AT SIXTY MILES PER HOUR, you could pass our farm in a minute, on County Road 686, which ran due north into the T intersection at Cabot Street Road. Cabot Street Road was really just another country blacktop, except that five miles west it ran into and out of the town of Cabot. On the western edge of Cabot, it became Zebulon County Scenic Highway, and ran for three miles along the curve of the Zebulon River, before the river turned south and the Scenic continued west into Pike. The T intersection of CR 686 perched on a little rise, a rise nearly as imperceptible as the bump in the center of an inexpensive plate.
From that bump, the earth was unquestionably flat, the sky unquestionably domed, and it seemed to me when I was a child in school, learning about Columbus, that in spite of what my teacher said, ancient cultures might have been onto something. No globe or map fully convinced me that Zebulon County was not the center of the universe. Certainly, Zebulon County, where the earth was flat, was one spot where a sphere (a seed, a rubber ball, a ballbearing) must come to perfect rest and once at rest must send a taproot downward into the ten-foot-thick topsoil.
Because the intersection was on this tiny rise, you could see our buildings, a mile distant, at the southern edge of the farm. A mile to the east, you could see three silos that marked the northeastern corner, and if you raked your gaze from the silos to the house and barn, then back again, you would take in the immensity of the piece of land my father owned, six hundred forty acres, a whole section, paid for, no encumbrances, as flat and fertile, black, friable, and exposed as any piece of land on the face of the earth ….
“Breathtaking.… Masterly.… Smiley’s most impressive work.”
“An extraordinary novel.… A story rich in heart-tugging revelations that explode in an otherwise
placid landscape.… Smiley possesses a persuasive and powerful voice all her own.… [She] may
be counted among our most perceptive and eloquent realists.”
“A tour de force.”
“Not to be missed.… We don’t just read Jane Smiley’s fiction, we fall into it, captivated by the
level pitch of her voice, her eye for the stunning detail, her sharp insights.”
—The Plain Dealer
“An intricate and dazzling novel, full of brilliant portraits of family relationships that are never
what they seem, laced with layers of mysteries and puzzles.”
“Smiley’s characters are so hauntingly real you can spend the better part of a day just brooding
about them.… [Smiley’s] the ind of writer other writers pass among themselves like a well guarded secret.”
—The Boston Globe
“Compelling.… Terrific.… This is a novel so rich in themes that one can only marvel at how
adeptly Smiley weaves her people and plots and references into a whole as cohesive as the
furrowed rows of corn on her fictional farm in Iowa.… A marvelous and moving story of
—Detroit Free Press