From L.A. to the Outback: Two Novelists

David Francis
In conversation with author Jane Smiley
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Episode Summary

David Francis’ latest novel Wedding Bush Road follows the visceral journey of a young L.A. lawyer called back to his family’s horse farm in rural Australia when his mother falls ill. Offering a uniquely intimate take on the timeless struggle between the past and present, town and country, Francis’ writing is fueled by a deep understanding of characters and landscapes that are worlds apart—he also works as a lawyer based in Los Angeles and spends part of each year on his family farm in Australia. Discussing this psychological portrait of a divided family and their complicated roots, Francis is joined by master storyteller and fellow horse aficionado Jane Smiley, who has known Francis for years and calls Wedding Bush Road, “his best work yet.”

Participant(s) Bio

David Francis‘ first novel, The Great Inland Sea, was published in seven languages. His second, Stray Dog Winter, was Novel of the Year in the Australian Literature Review, a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist and won the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature. His short fiction, articles, and reviews have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Los Angeles Times, The Harvard Review, Sydney Morning Herald and elsewhere. David’s third novel, Wedding Bush Road was recently released in both the USA and Australia. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, as well as five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. She lives in Northern California.