The First Person and Other Stories
By Ali Smith
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307454850, 224pp.)
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
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From the Whitbread Award-winning author of The Accidental and Hotel World comes this stunning collection of stories set in a world of everyday dislocation, where people nevertheless find connection, mystery, and love.
These tales are of ordinary but poignant beauty: at the pub, strangers regale each other with memories of Christmases past; lovers share tales over dinner about how they met, their former lovers, and each other; a woman even tells a story to her fourteen-year-old self.
As Smith explores the subtle links between what we know and what we feel, she creates an exuberant, masterly collection that is packed full of ideas, humor, nuance, and compassion. Ali Smith and the short story are made for each other.
Ali Smith is the author of six previous works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed 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 short-listed for the 2005 Man Booker Prize and the 2006 Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. Her story collections include Free Love, which won a Saltire Society First Book of the Year 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.
“Sparkling and zany . . . so deft, so beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Deftly moving . . . brimming with poetic whimsy. . . . These tales are vibrant and poignant, as though deconstructing our compulsion to connect with one another were as easy as writing a story.” —Elle
“[An] unsettling take on contemporary life. . . . Smith's style is terse and edgy. . . Provocative and enigmatic.” —BookPage
“Always imaginative, deftly written, and often funny to a fault, The First Person and Other Stories is a dizzying collection of stories by a writer unafraid. . . . One of the best surprises for anyone with a penchant for stories where language is foremost.”
—Steven Whitton, The Anniston Star (Alabama)
“The First Person and Other Stories target the romantic poseurs in all of us.” —Vogue
“Everyone has their own tale to tell in this bangup collection. . . . At once quirky and compulsively readable, this collection puts a layered and enjoyable spin on the many forms of the short story.”
“Intriguing. . . If Smith excels at creating, both in her stories and in her readers, a sense of eerie dislocation, she can also stir up an enchanting sense of whimsy.” —Booklist
“Smartly constructed. . . . Compellingly quirky demonstrations of how our imaginations react to ordinary people and everyday occurrences. . . . Smith is an original observer of the blessings and curses of living inside one's imagination.”