Autumn - Seasonal (Paperback)Ali Smith (author)
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Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for September 2017
All across the country, there was misery and rejoicing. All across the country, what had happened whipped about by itself as if a live electric wire had snapped off a pylon in a storm and was whipping about in the air above the trees, the roofs, the traffic. All across the country, people felt it was the wrong thing. All across the country, people felt it was the right thing. All across the country, people felt they’d really lost. All across the country, people felt they’d really won.
Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That's what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016?
Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.
Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. This first in a seasonal quartet casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearian jeu d'esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s Pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history-making. Here's where we're living.
Here's time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic. From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories, and a story about ageing and time and love and stories themselves. Here comes Autumn.
In an exclusive interview with Ali Smith about Autumn we talk about the joy of a novel swift in its making and what the seasons mean for her.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 193 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 17 mm
"I love Ali Smith's writing, and I've been keeping Autumn for an end-of-book holiday treat." - Val McDermid, The Observer
"In a country apparently divided against itself, a writer such as Smith is more valuable than a whole parliament of politicians." - Financial Times
"Bold and brilliant, dealing with the body blow of Brexit to offer us something rare: hope." - Jackie Kay
"Humour, grace, solace...A light-footed meditation on mortality, mutability and how to keep your head in troubled times." - The Guardian
"Transcendental writing about art, death and all the dimensions of love. It's not so much 'reading between the lines' as being blinded by the light between the lines - in a good way." - Deborah Levy
"The novel of the year is obviously Ali Smith's Autumn, which managed the miracle of making at least a kind of sense out of post-Brexit Britain." - The Observer
"Autumn is a beautiful, poignant symphony of memories, dreams and transient realities." - The Guardian
"Experimental, thematically complex, associative, time-juggling, powered by a crazed and energetic curiosity." - Sunday Times
"Pure literary magic." - Mail on Sunday
"Puckish, yet elegant; angry, but comforting. Long may she Remain that way." - The Times
"A wonderfully risky project...an ambitious, multi-layered creation...an energising and uplifting story." - The Daily Telegraph
"The book I'd like to receive for Christmas: Ali Smith's Autumn." - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
"Fantastic writing, big ideas and generosity of spirit." - Spectator
"[Ali Smith] is Scotland's Nobel laureate-in-waiting - and I can't wait for her new book." - Sebastian Barry, Observer
"Humour, grace, solace...A light-footed meditation on mortality, mutability and how to keep your head in troubled times." - Guardian, Best Fiction 2016
"[Ali Smith] is simply incapable of writing a dull paragraph." - New Statesman
"Ever-inventive...Autumn is the first serious Brexit novel...In a country apparently divided against itself, a writer such as Smith is more valuable than a whole parliament of politicians." - Financial Times, Books of the Year
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“Season of missed”
Quite enjoyable and fairly easy to read. Undeserving of all the hype it has attracted in the media, though, and justifiably denied the MB prize.
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