I can't recommend a better book to complement this absurd political, economic, international, and social reality we are all collectively (and singularly) experiencing. Ali Smith's second installment in her seasonal quartet is (mostly) set over the Christmas holiday in Cornwall, where we are the silent fourth wall facing a beautifully dysfunctional family. Winter plays with the ghosts of self, dispersed throughout the dimension of time, and collects the truly unbelievable, yet real (so real) human consciousness into a story. Smith's writing is weighted equally with the horrible and the miraculous, in a harmony of now--everything that's ever been is now, right now.
Shortlisted for the British Book Award – Fiction Book of the Year and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing
One of the Best Books of the Year: New York Public Library, Kirkus Reviews
The second novel in the Man Booker Prize–nominated author’s Seasonal cycle; the much-anticipated follow-up to Autumn (a New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Financial Times, The Guardian, Southern Living, and Kirkus Reviews best book of the year).
Winter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art’s mother is seeing things. Come to think of it, Art’s seeing things himself.
When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?
Winter. It makes things visible. Ali Smith’s shapeshifting Winter casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.
About the Author
ALI SMITH was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1962 and lives in Cambridge, England. She is the author of Autumn, How to be both, There but for the, Artful, Free Love, Like, Hotel World, Other Stories and other stories, The Whole Story and other stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy and The First Person and other stories. Hotel World and The Accidental were both short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel of the Year Award, and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Autumn was short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize.
“Brilliant. . . . The light inside this great novelist’s gorgeous snow globe is utterly original.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Ali Smith is flat-out brilliant. . . . Once again [she] has balanced darkness with light, bleakness with hope.” —NPR
“Virtuosic. . . . Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age.” —The Boston Globe
“Moving. . . . You finish an Ali Smith book . . . certain that you have been in the presence of an artist who rarely sounds like anyone else.” —The New Yorker
“Winter is a triumph of imagination. . . . Luminous. . . . Fascinating.” —The Atlantic
“Brilliant, breathtakingly immediate. . . . While this seasonal quartet has its angry and agonized passages . . . its creator wants to remind us that the pendulum can swing back and that one day the sun will return.” —Slate
“There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring.” —The New York Times
“Breathtaking. . . . [Smith] is one of the rarest creatures in the world: a really fearless novelist.” —Chicago Tribune
“Winter is a stunning meditation on a complex, emotional moment in history. The outlook at the end is dark, but soon enough Spring will come, and then maybe the threatening icicles will thaw and the buds of hope will push through.” —Time
“The second in Smith’s quartet of seasonal novels displays her mastery at weaving allusive magic into the tragicomedies of British people and politics. . . . A bleak, beautiful tale.” —Vulture
“Magnificent. . . . Stunningly original. . . . Ali Smith is writing a classic, one mind-blowing installment at a time.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Astonishingly fertile and free. . . . Dickensian in its fluency and mobile empathy. . . . [Smith] fashions a novel which, in its very inclusiveness, associative joy and unrestricted movement, proposes other kinds of vision. . . . Leaping, laughing, sad, generous and winter-wise, this is a thing of grace.” —The Guardian
“These novels seek to bring our time and deep time together. . . . If Ali Smith’s four quartets in, and about, time do not endure to rank among the most original, consoling and inspiring of artistic responses to ‘this mad and bitter mess’ of the present, then we will have plunged into an even bleaker midwinter than people often fear.” —Financial Times
“Luminously beautiful. . . . A novel of great ferocity, tenderness, righteous anger and generosity of spirit that you feel Dickens would have recognised. . . . There is forgiveness here, and song, and comic resolution of sorts, but the abiding image is of the tenacity of nature and light.” —The Observer (London)
“One of Britain’s most important novelists. . . . Winter is narrated with Smith’s customary stylistic brio . . . punctuated with clever word play. . . . Heartwarming.” —The Irish Times