When was the last time you read something that took on another dimension? In Ali Smith's "How to be Both," the story; characters, plot and world described, interact with each other in a way that allows the reader to conceptualize the story as shapes that materialize and solidify as the book unfolds. The book has two parts; George is a 16-year-old living in modern day Cambridge and has just lost her mother. Francesco is a Renaissance painter in the 1460's, who is remarkably talented and a bit of a social outsider. Smith draws the stories of both their lives into a beautiful and harmonious web that subverts the expectation that storytelling has to be lineal. Highly recommend!
MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST WINNER OF THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION WINNER OF THE 2014 GOLDSMITHS PRIZE WINNER OF THE 2014 COSTA NOVEL AWARD WINNER OF THE SALTIRE LITERARY BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD A Best Book of the Year: NPR, Financial Times Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith's novels are like nothing else.Borrowing from painting's fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, How to be both is a novel all about art's versatility. 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.
About the Author
Ali Smith is the author of many works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, and The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Award and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Born in Inverness, Scotland, Smith lives in Cambridge, England.
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