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Jane Smiley’s trilogy follows one Iowa family over the course of 100 years

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

In “Some Luck,” Rosanna and Walter Langdon work to pass on their values to their five children, who are all wildly different. Walter fought in WWI, and as he and his wife work to raise their family on their small Iowa farm, the book moves through the Great Depression and World War II.

Author Jane Smiley takes a bird’s eye view of the family, weaving stories of individual lives into the greater patchwork of cultural upheaval that marked the beginning of the 21st century.

This conversation was originally produced in October 2014.


  • Jane Smiley, author, "Some Luck"
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River