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January's Author of the Month: ALI SMITH

by Tyler Vitt - Tuesday, Jan 02, 2018 at 11:50am

Born in Inverness, Scotland, Ali Smith is one of the most distinctive and innovative voices on the literary scene today. Her novels and short story collections have placed her at the forefront of contemporary British fiction. She has won the Whitbread Award and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction as well as being shortlisted multiple times for the Man Booker Prize. Ambiguity is a theme that runs throughout all of Smith’s fiction and is arguably the characteristic that best defines her treatment of character and self.

In Winter, the second novel in Smith’s Seasonal Quartet, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. Her shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens of art and love.

In a novel of ferocity, tenderness, anger and generosity of spirit, Sophia Cleves is a Scrooge for our time, a retired businesswoman whose work always took precedence over family. Now holed up in her 15-bedroom house in Cornwall, she is, as her estranged sister, Iris, observes, “an old miserly grump who had nothing in the house for your son and his girlfriend for Christmas except a bag of walnuts and half a jar of glace cherries”.

Although there’s no traditional Christmas miracle in Winter, the entire book is in it own way testament to the miraculous powers of the creative arts: “That’s one of the things stories and books can do, they can make more than one time possible at once,” one of the characters explains.

Categories: Authors, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Author of the Month

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Winter

- Hardcover

by Ali Smith - $30.00 - Add to Cart

"What Smith has achieved in her cycle so far is exactly what we need artists to do in disorienting times: make sense of events, console us, show us how we got here, help us believe that we will find our way through. Often, that's what we lean on the classics for, finding answers in metaphor. But in "Winter," as in "Autumn," Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age." - The Boston Globe"There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring." - The New York TimesThe dazzling second novel in Ali Smith's essential Seasonal Quartet--from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be bothWinter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art's mother is seeing things.   Come to think of it, Art's seeing things himself. When four people, strangers and family, converge on a 15 bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?   Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith's Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith's shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.

Accidental

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $19.00 - Add to Cart

Shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.I was born in the year of the supersonic, the era of the multi-storey multivitamin multitonic, the highrise time of men with the technology and women who could be bionic, when jump jets were Harrier, when QE2 was Cunard,when thirty-eight feet tall the Princess Margaret stood stately in her hoverpad, the annee erotique was only thirty aircushioned minutes away and everything went at twice the speed of sound. I opened my eyes. It was all in colour. It didn't look like Kansas anymore. The students were on the barricades, the mode was maxi, the Beatles were transcendental. It was Britain. It was great.

Artful

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $25.00 - Add to Cart

"A stimulating combination of literary criticism, essay, and fiction" (The New Yorker) from the incomparable Ali SmithArtful is a celebration of literature's worth in and to the world--it is about the things art can do, the things art is made of, and the quicksilver nature of all artfulness. A magical hybrid that refuses to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted--literally--by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Ali Smith's heady powers as a novelist and short story writer harmonize with her keen perceptions as a reader and critic to form a living thing that reminds us that life and art are never separate.

Autumn

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $19.95 - Add to Cart

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZEA NEW YORK TIMES AND GUARDIAN BEST BOOK OF 2017From the 2015 Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both: An unconventional love story playing across the boundaries of time and history. . .The first of four novels in a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in timescale and light-footed through histories. Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy and the colour-hit of Pop Art--via a bit of very contemporary skulduggery and skull-diggery-- Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture, and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means. Autumn is part of the quartet Seasonal: four stand-alone novels, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are), exploring what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative.

How To Be Both

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $19.95 - Add to Cart

The dazzling new novel about art by the Man Booker- and Orange Prize-shortlisted author of The Accidental      Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive, and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith's novels are like nothing else.      How to be both is a novel all about art's versatility. Borrowing from painting's fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it's a fast-moving, genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths, and fictions. There's a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There's the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real--and all life's givens get given a second chance.

Public Library and Other Stories

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $22.95 - Add to Cart

A book of stories all about why books mean the world to us     Why are books, in all their forms, so very powerful?      What do the books we've read over our lives--our own personal libraries--make of us?      What does the unravelling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us?     The stories in Ali Smith's new collection, The Library and Other Stories, are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us, friends for life; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser, and ageless all at once; how they coax us endlessly to unexpected blossom; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make.

There But for The

- Trade paperback

by Ali Smith - $18.00 - Add to Cart

There but for the is the sparkling satirical novel by bestselling Ali Smith 'There once was a man who, one night between the main course and the sweet at a dinner party, went upstairs and locked himself in one of the bedrooms of the house of the people who were giving the dinner party . . .' As time passes by and the consequences of this stranger's actions ripple outwards, touching the owners, the guests, the neighbours and the whole country, so Ali Smith draws us into a beautiful, strange place where everyone is so much more than they at first appear. There but for the was hailed as one of the best books of 2011 by Jeanette Winterson, A.S. Byatt, Patrick Ness, Sebastian Barry, Boyd Tonkin, Erica Wagner and Nick Barley. 'Dazzlingly inventive' A.S. Byatt 'Whimsically devastating. Playful, humorous, serious, profoundly clever and profoundly affecting' Guardian 'A real gem' Erica Wagner, The Times 'Eccentric, adventurous, intoxicating, dazzling. This is a novel with serious ambitions that remains huge fun to read' Literary Review 'If you liked Smith's earlier fiction, you will know that she enjoys setting up a situation before chucking in a literary Molotov cocktail then describing what happens' Sunday Express 'Wonderful, word-playful, compelling' Jeanette Winterson 'Smith can make anything happen, which is why she is one of our most exciting writers today' Daily Telegraph 'I take my hat off to Ali Smith. Her writing lifts the soul' Evening Standard