The Book Lover
By Ali Smith
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307386083, 480pp.)
Publication Date: December 2, 2008
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From the award-winning author of The Accidental and Hotel World comes a sparkling, surprising collection of the writing she loves best — and without which she would not have become a writer.
The Book Lover is a treasure trove of what Ali Smith has loved over the course of her reading life, in her twenties, as a teenager, as a child. Full of pieces from amazing writers like Sylvia Plath, Muriel Spark, Grace Paley, and Margaret Atwood, it also has a wonderful selection of lesser-known authors like Joseph Roth, only just gaining proper status now, and Clarice Lispector, a Brazilian genius who's far too underpublished. From surprising figures like Beryl the Peril, Billie Holliday, and Lee Miller to unusual selections from the most prominent writers in history, The Book Lover is an intimate, personal anthology that gives readers a glimpse of how writers develop their craft—by reading other writers.
Ali Smith is the author of six works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize in 2001 and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002, and The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and the 2006 Orange Prize. Her story collections include Free Love, which won the Saltire First Book Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award, and The Whole Story and Other Stories. Born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1962, Smith now lives in Cambridge, England.
“A real treat . . . a leisurely browse through a writer's own bookshelves.”
—The Times (London)