Companion Piece: Book summary and reviews of Companion Piece by Ali Smith

Companion Piece

A Novel

by Ali Smith

Companion Piece by Ali Smith X
Companion Piece by Ali Smith
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  • Published May 2022
    240 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the Booker Prize-nominated author of the brilliant Seasonal Quartet series - a provocative novel that promises to capture the present moment with Ali Smith's genius and bold spirit.

"A story is never an answer. A story is always a question."
Here we are in extraordinary times.
Is this history?

What happens when we cease to trust governments, the media, each other?
What have we lost?
What stays with us?
What does it take to unlock our future?

Following her astonishing Seasonal Quartet, Ali Smith again lights a way for us through the nightmarish now, in a vital celebration of companionship in all its timeless and contemporary, legendary and unpindownable, spellbinding and shapeshifting forms.

Companion Piece stands apart from the Quartet, which remains discrete unto itself. But like Smith's groundbreaking series, this new novel boldly captures the spirit of the times.

"Every hello, like every voice, holds its story ready, waiting."

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Reviews

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"Smith's expansive and tantalizing spin-off of her Seasonal Quartet series blends stories of mythology, English history, and personal trauma...Smith's flawless stream-of-conscious narration is at once accessible and transforming, and with it she manages to contain eye-blinking hallucinatory images...This is a captivating Rubik's cube of fiction." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[T]his touching entertainment...is Smith's pandemic land, where myth and reality converse, where lockdown might evoke medieval artisanry, and where wordplay is more than playful. The Scottish author's 12th novel displays once again her ingenuity in pulling together disparate narrative strands...With art and humor, Ali is the smith who forges links for her idiosyncratic narrative, one of which is the value of acts of kindness amid distress. A truly marvelous tale of pandemic and puns and endurance." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] dialogue-driven, deeply imagined, hilarious, and affecting tale of unexpected companionship during a plague...Smith follows her award-winning Seasonal Quartet with a bristling yet tender, richly layered, brilliant, and dynamic novel of connections forged and love affirmed." - Booklist (starred review)

"Smith's sensational twelfth novel, like the eleven before it, defies easy categorization. The chaser to her extraordinary Seasonal Quartet centers on Sandy Gray, here a painter struggling to endure Covid-19 lockdown in England...Like Smith's other novels, Companion Piece is a formally dazzling story, constructed from a découpage of funny, messy, beautifully disparate elements." - Esquire, The Best Spring Books of 2022

"Companion Piece is shapely, but not conclusive. It doesn't feel like a coda to the Four Seasons tetralogy, rather an addition to a book sequence for all seasons, with no end in sight. Smith could carry on adding to the writerly collage she is creating through many more volumes. I hope she does." - The Guardian (UK)

This information about Companion Piece was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ali Smith Author Biography

Photo: Sarah Wood

Ali Smith is the author of many works of fiction, including, most recently, Winter, Autumn, Public Library and other Stories, and How to be Both, which won the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize, and the Costa Novel of the Year Award. Her work has four times been short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Born in Inverness, Scotland, she lives in Cambridge, England.

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