Ali Smith's picture

Ali Smith

Scotland (b.1962)

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. Smith writes for The Guardian, The Scotsman and the TLS.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Fantasy
Seasonal Quartet
   1. Autumn (2016)
   2. Winter (2017)
   3. Spring (2019)
   4. Summer (2020)
Series contributed to
Anthologies edited
   Brilliant Careers (2000) (with Kasia Boddy and Sarah Wood)
   Shorts (2000)
   Pretext 5: Fiction; Criticism; Poetry: Blow Up Your TV (2002) (with Julia Bell)
   Word Jig (2003) (with Michel Faber and Andrew Greig)
   Mays 2003 (2003)
   New Writing: No. 13 (2005) (with Toby Litt)
   The Reader (2006)
   The Book Lover (2008)
   Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (2009) (with Kasia Boddy and Sarah Wood)
   Why Willows Weep (2011) (with Rachel Billington, Terence Blacker, Tracy Chevalier, Susan Elderkin, William Fiennes and Salley Vickers)
Non fiction
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2001) : Hotel World
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2001) : Hotel World
James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2005) : The Accidental
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2005) : The Accidental
Whitbread Prize Best Novel winner (2005) : The Accidental
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2012) : There but for the
Goldsmiths Prize Best Book nominee (2013) : Artful
Costa Book Awards Best Novel winner (2014) : How to be both
Goldsmiths Prize Best Book winner (2014) : How to be both
Saltire Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2014) : How to be both
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2014) : How to be both
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book winner (2015) : How to be both
Rathbone Folio Prize Best Book nominee (2015) : How to be both
The Man Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2017) : Autumn

Ali Smith recommends
Beware of Pity (1939)
Stefan Zweig
"Frightening gripping an intoxicating, morally shocking read."
Hawkfall (1974)
George Mackay Brown
"George MacKay Brown is one of the masters of short story form."
If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things (2002)
Jon McGregor
"A tremendous read. The whole book quivers, picks up its detail like a sensitive antenna, immensely fragile, yet in that unstoppable lyrical energy immensely tough."
Joseph Knight (2003)
James Robertson
"A work of cunning and great assurance."
An Evening of Long Goodbyes (2003)
Paul Murray
"A lyrical, satirical tour de force, a huge, hilarious elegy. A surreal and very funny festival of truths, fictions, luck, and love. How can this be a first novel? A triumph."
The History of Love (2005)
Nicole Krauss
"A beauty of a book, totally alive, made with real energy and nerve and craft. It restores your faith in fiction. It restores all sorts of faith."
Wish I Was Here (2006)
Jackie Kay
"No one in the world writes short stories like Jackie Kay. This is a collection full of voice, life, hilarity. Her writing has a truthfulness that's both hard-won and beautiful."
Fair Play (2007)
Tove Jansson
"Fair Play is very fine art."
A Life Apart (2008)
Neel Mukherjee
"Incisive and poetic, sensual and intelligent."
Black Rock (2009)
Amanda Smyth
"Amanda Smyth writes like a descendant of Jean Rhys. Black Rock is a powerful cocktail of heat and beautiful coolness, written in a heady, mesmerising yet translucent prose which marks Smyth out as a born novelist."
Perfect Lives (2010)
Polly Samson
"An unexpected combination of romp and classical: though-provoking, sassy and comforting."
London Lies Beneath (2016)
Stella Duffy
"A writer who never lets you down."
Lost Children Archive (2019)
Valeria Luiselli
"A novelist of a rare vitality."
Gingerbread (2019)
Helen Oyeyemi
"A writer of sentences so elegant that they gleam."
Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
Bernardine Evaristo
"Bernardine Evaristo can take any story from any time and turn it into something vibrating with life."
A Thousand Moons (2020)
(Days Without End, book 2)
Sebastian Barry
"Nobody writes like, nobody takes lyrical risks like, nobody pushes the language, and the heart, and the two together, quite like Sebastian Barry does, so that you come out of whatever he writes like you've been away, in another climate."
A Fire in My Head (2021)
Ben Okri
"A literary and social visionary."

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