Jane Smiley Writes An American "Decameron"

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Seven centuries ago, in the pages of the great classic "The Decameron," Italy's Boccaccio sent 14th Century Florentines out to escape the plague and get bawdy telling fantastic stories in the hills.

They looked to survive a nightmare by laughing and loving and getting very human in retreat.

Flash forward to 2003, and Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley is pulling the same trick, this time with war-haunted Americans in the sun-kissed Hollywood Hills. The invasion of Iraq is underway, and this crew is in bewildered retreat above LA, with sex, politics, Russians, movie memories and endless, human stories.

This hour On Point: Jane Smiley, an American Decameron, and "Ten Days in the Hills."


Jane Smiley, author of "Ten Days in the Hills."

This program aired on March 2, 2007.


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