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Jane Smiley on Some Luck; Africa 39

Mariella Frostrup talks to Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley about her new novel Some Luck, the first in a planned trilogy. Plus the best new writing from Africa.

The Pulitzer prize winning novelist Jane Smiley talks to Mariella Frostrup about her new novel, Some Luck, the first in a planned trilogy. It opens in 1920 and follows the fortunes of an Iowa farming family through the turbulent events of first half of the 20th century: the Great Depression, the Second World War and the McCarthy era.

Also on the programme, Mariella discusses the best new writing from sub-Saharan Africa with Ellah Allfrey, the editor of a new collection, Africa 39, Lynne Truss reveals the book she'd never part with and some ideas on the best German reading for an A Level student from Julia Franck.

Available now

28 minutes


Some Luck by Jane Smiley
Africa 39 edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey
The Golden Treasury of Poetry edited by Louis Untermeyer
West by Julia Franck
Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

German books recommended by Julia Franck 
Tschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf
Im Bauch des Wals by Paul Nizon
Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann


Read the first chapter of Some Luck by Jane Smiley

Some Luck: Chapter 1 by Jane Smiley


Role Contributor
Presenter Mariella Frostrup
Interviewed Guest Jane Smiley
Interviewed Guest Ellah Allfrey
Interviewed Guest Lynne Truss
Interviewed Guest Julia Franck


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