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The Resource Autumn, Ali Smith

Autumn, Ali Smith

Label
Autumn
Title
Autumn
Statement of responsibility
Ali Smith
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"From the Man Booker-shortlisted and Baileys Prize-winning author of How to be both: a breathtakingly inventive new novel--about aging, time, love, and stories themselves--that launches an extraordinary quartet of books called Seasonal. Readers love Ali Smith's novels for their peerless innovation and their joyful celebration of language and life. Her newest, Autumn, has all of these qualities in spades, and--good news for fans!--is the first installment in a quartet. Seasonal, comprised of four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as are the seasons), explores what time is, how we experience it, and the recurring markers in the shapes our lives take and in our ways with narrative. Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy, and the color hit of Pop Art, Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. The novel is a stripped-branches take on popular culture and a meditation, in a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, what harvest means"--
Member of
Has edition
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
New York Times Notable Book, 2017
Review
  • England is at a turning point. Brexit has just passed and xenophobia and electric fences are dividing the nation. At 32, Elisabeth is still trying to decide what her future holds, and the widespread national uncertainty has left her feeling unsettled. As the nation erupts around her, she looks to her past for comfort, visiting her mother and Mr. Gluck, the neighbor who helped raise her. Daniel Gluck, now more than a century old, was once a constant friend to Elisabeth, but now he lies in a deep sleep that might be his last. Visiting weekly to read to him, Elisabeth realizes how little she knows about the man who was once her devoted companion. Man Booker Prize finalist Smith (Public Library and Other Stories, 2016) slowly builds a sparse picture of Daniel’s past and his influence over Elisabeth’s future. With a strong nod to British pop culture, its eponymous art movement, and mid-century feminism, the reluctantly revelatory nature of this story creates a well-rounded allegory symbolic on many levels. The start of Smith’s Seasonal quartet, this is delightfully cerebral and relevant. -- Ophoff, Cortney (Reviewed 1/1/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 9, p33)
  • /* Starred Review */ This splendid free-form novel—the first in a seasonally themed tetralogy—chronicles the last days of a lifelong friendship between Elisabeth, a British university lecturer in London, and her former neighbor, a centenarian named Daniel. Opening with an oblique, dreamy prologue about mortality, the novel proper sets itself against this past summer's historic Brexit vote, intermittently flashing back to the early years of Elisabeth and Daniel's relationship. Though there are a few relevant subplots, including Elisabeth's nightmarish attempt to procure a new passport, as well as her fascination with the painter Pauline Boty, the general plot is appropriately shapeless, reflecting the character's discombobulated psyche. Smith (How to Be Both) deftly juxtaposes her protagonists' physical and emotional states in the past and present, tracking Elisabeth's path from precocity to disillusionment. Eschewing traditional structure and punctuation, the novel charts a wild course through uncertain terrain, an approach that excites and surprises in equal turn. Seen through Elisabeth's eyes, Daniel's deterioration is particularly affecting. Smith, always one to take risks, sees all of them pay off yet again. (Feb.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 03/06/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 10, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ On the eve of the polarizing Brexit vote, a young woman reads aloud at the bedside of a semicomatose elderly man whom she visits weekly in his nursing home. When they met years earlier, Elisabeth was a neglected young girl whose single mother frequently left her at home alone, and Daniel was the much older, sophisticated European who had recently moved in next door. Elisabeth may have reminded Daniel of his beloved younger sister, who was left behind when Daniel escaped from World War II Germany. Over long walks and talks, Daniel patiently introduced Elisabeth to fine literature and to the avant-garde art of the Sixties. Many years later, Elisabeth, now an art historian, rediscovers Daniel close to death in a nursing home. As a wave of xenophobia sweeps across Europe and over to Britain, the parallels to the racism and violence in Daniel's past are striking. VERDICT At the heart of Man Booker Prize nominee Smith's (How To Be Both) new novel is the charming friendship between a lonely girl and a kind older man who offers her a world of culture. This novel of big ideas and small pleasures is enthusiastically recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 8/15/16.] --Barbara Love (Reviewed 12/01/2016) (Library Journal, vol 141, issue 20, p92)
  • /* Starred Review */ A girl's friendship with an older neighbor stands at the center of this multifaceted meditation on aging, art, love, and affection.Smith (Public Library and Other Stories, 2016, etc.) opens this volume, the first of a planned quartet featuring each season, with a man washed ashore naked. He wonders if he is dead. He sees a girl nearby and sews himself some clothing from leaves after a needle and a bobbin of gold thread appear in his hand. From dream or fantasy, the narrative shifts to hard reality: the man, Daniel, next appears asleep in a hospital bed in the present time, age 101. His visitor is Elisabeth, age 32, a university lecturer in art history who has just endured the painful comedy of bureaucracy while trying to renew her passport at the post office. She met Daniel when she was 8 and needed to interview him for a school project. The book will jump around in time as Daniel introduces Elisabeth to puns, storytelling, and art, especially that of a woman he loved named Pauline Boty. She was an actual U.K. artist of the pop era who made a brief appearance in the movie Alfie. Her work included a portrait of Christine Keeler during the Profumo Affair, and Smith has fun with Keeler's court appearances. History is also current, as Smith touches on the friction caused by Brexit nationwide (with a pointed opening allusion to Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities) and in one town where some undefined menace arises with the installation of large electrified fences. Smith has a gift for drawing a reader into whatever world she creates, even when she bends the rules of fiction, as she did also in her previous novel, How to Be Both (2014). Smith's book is a kaleidoscope whose suggestive fragments and insights don't easily render a pleasing pattern, yet it's compelling in its emotional and historical freight, its humor, and keen sense of creativity and loss.(Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2016)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10550794
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1962-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Smith, Ali
Dewey number
823/.914
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6069.M4213
LC item number
A92 2016
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Seasonal
Series volume
1
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • European Union
  • Great Britain
Target audience
adult
Label
Autumn, Ali Smith
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First United States edition.
Extent
264 pages
Isbn
9781101870730
Lccn
2016036972
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 949913291
  • (OCoLC)949913291
Label
Autumn, Ali Smith
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First United States edition.
Extent
264 pages
Isbn
9781101870730
Lccn
2016036972
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 949913291
  • (OCoLC)949913291

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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