Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series

2015 Marshall Lecture

Jane Smiley imageJane Smiley
"The History of the Novel as a Spur of Democracy"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
7:00 p.m
Old Main, Carson Ballroom, ASU Tempe campus

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, essayist and biographer, Jane Smiley will discuss how the novel develops the inner life, a sense of empathy, and a sense of agency. As well as how this has influenced the emergence of the lower classes, of women, of different ethnic groups, and of animals as beings who deserve respect and care.

About the Speaker

Jane Smiley has been praised as "a diverse and masterly writer" by The New York Times Book Review and "one of the premier novelists of her generation, possessed of a mastery of the craft and an uncompromising vision that grows more powerful with each book" by The Washington Post. During her years as a published author—her first novel was published in 1980—two of Jane Smiley’s novels have been made into movies: A Thousand Acres, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, and The Age of Grief, which was developed into The Secret Lives of Dentists. The recipient of an MFA and a Ph.D., Jane Smiley is the author of twelve novels, as well as many essays for such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Practical Horseman, and others. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in Iceland and was a professor of English for 15 years at Iowa State University. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2001, and in 2006 she was awarded the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. For more information about this speaker please visit

Visitor parking is available in the Fulton Parking Garage. Standard parking rates apply and attendees are responsible for any parking fees incurred. There are no tickets for the event and no RSVP is required. Seating is limited and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. If you have any additional questions, please call 480-965-2779.

The Jonathan and Maxine Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series brings to ASU nationally known scholars concerned with promoting culture through the humanities and a better understanding of the problems of democracy. This annual free public lecture is funded with a gift from Jonathan and Maxine Marshall. 

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