The First Person and Other Stories Summary and Reviews

The First Person and Other Stories

by Ali Smith

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2009
    224 pages
    Genre: Short Stories & Essays

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Book Summary

In these energetic, exhilarating stories, Ali Smith portrays a world of everyday dislocation, where people nevertheless find connection, mystery, and love. In "Astute Fiery Luxurious," a fetid misdelivered package throws the life of a couple into disarray. A boy’s mysterious illness in "I Know Something You Don’t Know" drives his mother to seek guidance from homeopathic healers, with inconclusive results. In “The Child,”an unnervingly mature young boy voices offensive humor that genteel society would rather not acknowledge. And a woman meets her fourteen-year-old self but can’t figure out how to guide her--or even whether she should in "Writ."

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"At once quirky and compulsively readable, this collection puts a layered and enjoyable spin on the many forms of the short story." - Publishers Weekly.

"Starred Review. This collection will appeal to anyone looking for imaginative short fiction that is experimental enough to be thought-provoking but also remains accessible to the discerning reader." - Library Journal.

"These technical ploys are all carried off impressively, and Smith cracks some good jokes along the way. But after 200 pages, a few weaknesses emerge as well. While her supply of narrative hooks appears to be inexhaustible, she rarely develops them dramatically... " - The Guardian (UK).

"There is plenty in Smith's preoccupation with form to engage the literary theorist, but it is also possible to read her more simply; as a writer seething with stories who is compelled to experiment with how she puts them on the plate." - The Daily Telegraph.

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Author Information

Ali Smith Author Biography

Photo: Sarah Wood

Ali Smith was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. Her first book, Free Love and Other Stories, won the Saltire First Book Award. Her other short story collections are Other Stories And Other Stories (1999), The Whole Story and Other Stories (2003) and The First Person and Other Stories. Her novels include: Like (1997); Hotel World (2001), which won the Encore Award, the East England Arts Award of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002; The Accidental (2005), winner of the Whitbread Novel Award; and There but for the which was published by Hamish Hamilton in 2011. Her most recent work is Winter published in 2017.

Ali Smith also writes for the Guardian, the Scotsman and The Times Literary Supplement.

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