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Jane Smiley

1. When you hear the old shibboleth that “women don’t have a sense of humor” or are “less funny than men,” your immediate response is___________________.

"Sorry, I didn't catch that."

2. Were you funny as a kid? Were you funnier (or less funny) as teenager?

I had to be funny. My name was Smiley.

3. What’s the most notable way your life would be different if you didn’t have your sense of humor?

I might not have had four husbands, and I certainly wouldn't have had such an enjoyable life. My husband and I agree, now that we are getting old, to make a joke out of it.

4. If you could have a magnificent dinner with three women—real, fictional, mythological—who would you choose as your guests?

Jane Eyre, Dorothy Parker, Medea.

5. Do you think those closest to you admire you for your sense of humor—or despite your sense of humor?

I wouldn't say admire. Would say appreciate, and I think they do.

Jane Smiley is 6’2” tall and seventy years old. She has written more books that she can keep track of and has enjoyed four husbands. Her children would like her to keep further information to herself.


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