Into it: Jane Smiley

... Reading?

I have been reading a book by Anthony Trollope called Lady Anna. I love Trollope. I think my favorite Trollope is He Knew He Was Right, which is very complex. The range of female characters is really astonishing. I was reading Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss. The new generation of writers is really interested in crossing boundaries because they live in a world in which boundaries no longer exist. You know, they live in a very paradoxical world where you can go anywhere and yet, simultaneously, personal boundaries seem to go up and groups and people tend to defend themselves more rigorously. The Desai book reflects this ... it's about going back and forth between India and America, Russia and Britain, and the dislocation that the characters in the novel feel [about] globalization. My generation of woman writers, which I would say began in 1970, were much more interested in establishing our identity as to who we were born to be. Our daughters are telling stories that are more global in their aspirations.

... Watching?

I don't watch TV much; I watch Colbert and Jon Stewart every so often. I do go to the movies. I have to say that our whole family were fans of Borat. The character of Borat couldn't have pulled it off if he hadn't been lively, energetic, and sort of charming.

... Listening to?

I decided I had to have a CD by the Eagles, so I bought the Eagles' greatest hits. In fact, my 14-year-old son glommed on to that, so we hear it in our part of the house, and we also hear it in his part of the house. Since I live in California, I love "Hotel California" because it's so sinister, and every time something weird happens in California, I say, "Welcome to the Hotel California."

Jane Smiley blogs regularly for The Huffington Post. Her new book, "Ten Days in the Hills," is published by Knopf.

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