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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?