Book - 2018
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"What Smith has achieved in her cycle so far is exactly what we need artists to do in disorienting times: make sense of events, console us, show us how we got here, help us believe that we will find our way through. Often, that's what we lean on the classics for, finding answers in metaphor. But in "Winter," as in "Autumn," Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age." - The Boston Globe

"There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring." - The New York Times

The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith's essential Seasonal Quartet--from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be both

Shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize for Political Writing

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 15 bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?

Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith's Winter , life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn , Smith's shapeshifting novel 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.
Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, 2018.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780670070046
Branch Call Number: FIC Smith
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 22 cm


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Jun 11, 2019

I read about 50 pages and quit. I am sure it is a very good literary novel, but just not my type. My rating of one star does not reflect the quality of the book, rather my subjective opinion of the book based on my dislike of the genre.

Feb 12, 2019

Smith has moved on to Winter after her novel Autumn. Although not strictly linear, this story has a more straight forward plot line than Autumn. The story takes place over three days, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and Boxing Day. Sophia Cleves is rattling around her 15-room house in Cornwall waiting for her son Arthur and his girlfriend Charlotte to arrive for the holidays. Arthur is in a fluster because Charlotte has dumped him and hijacked his blog, Art In Nature. He then shows up in Cornwall with Lux who's agreed to play Charlotte for the holiday. Finding his mother in crisis, Lux gets Arthur to call his Aunt Iris for help. Most of the story is told in flashbacks which covers both Sophie's and Iris' histories -- one as a successful business woman and the other as an activist. Smith again plays with language, Shakespeare, and her love of Dickens. The book is vaguely reminiscent of A Christmas Carol with Smith's unique spin on the classic.

Sep 22, 2018

For me, it takes a bit of rumination after finishing an Ali Smith book for the details to sink in.

Ali Smith is a thoroughly contemporary writer. Her viewpoint is unique and the way that she structures a story might seem conventional, yet there is something about how the characters are developed through a sort of time travel that in the end becomes very satisfying.

This is a book about our times, our restlessness, our not paying attention while we think we are paying attention, helplessness, hopelessness, infuriating sisters, a mother who keeps secrets from her son... and in the end, us, how we have become complicit in our time and therefore, maybe our future.

Jun 01, 2018

I enjoyed the interesting characters, references to recent events as well as classic literature, and learning about an artist I hadn't heard of (Barbara Hepworth). In other words, it's a lot like "Autumn" although the stories are unconnected.

Feb 13, 2018

This is the third Ali Smith book that I have read. I'm drawn to her language and style and stories. I enjoyed this novel, and read it quickly.

Feb 05, 2018

Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", Shakespeare's "Cymbeline", Barbara Hepworth, estranged sisters, Greenham Common ... relationships, the present day, the past, the future. An engaging and interesting book indeed.

Jan 09, 2018

Winter is the second of Ali Smith's seasonal quartet. I have not yet read Autumn and therefore will not be comparing the two novels. What stood out was the cadence of the prose in Winter. It reads like a long poem, without chapters to frame the story. The four characters in the book spend the Christmas holidays together under the same roof. The diverse group is made up of Arthur, his mother, his mother's sister and a woman Arthur has hired to pretend to be his girlfriend. For the most part, it appears that they are not enjoying each other's company and friction often accompanies their conversations about politics, relationships, art. I am intrigued with what the next season will bring.

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