Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. That's what it felt like for Keats in 1819. How about Autumn 2016? Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer.Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever. Ali Smith's new novel is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. It is the first installment of her Seasonal quartet--four stand-alone books, separate yet interconnected and cyclical (as the seasons are)--and it casts an eye over our own time. Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d'esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art: the centuries cast their eyes over our own history making. Here's where we're living. Here's time at its most contemporaneous and its most cyclic. From the imagination of the peerless Ali Smith comes a shape-shifting series, wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, a story about aging and time and love and stories themselves....
|Title||:||Autumn (Seasonal #1)|
|Number of Pages||:||264 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Autumn » Autumn (Seasonal #1)|
Autumn (Seasonal #1) Reviews
This is England
Autumn is to be the first instalment of ‘a seasonal quartet’ that Ali Smith plans to write - a cycle ‘exploring the subjective experience of time, questioning the nature of time itself'. Triggered to read it by the title – autumn is my favourite season – this first instalment was a wondrous introduction to Smith’s prose for me, so I eagerly look forward to the next parts now.
Autumn is a playful, multi-layered and at times delectably subversive novel on the floating of time, aging, ...more
What are you reading?
A tale of two people.
Tell me about it.
It's a book full of leaves, green ones and brown ones. And white ones too, of course.
Ha! But seriously, describe it to me.
It's a book with a hole in the middle.
Now you're just being absurd.
No, wait. There's really as much absence as presence in this book.
Tell me what's in it - not what's not in it.
It's a book of fragments that fit together in odd arrangements.
Give me an example of the way the fragments fit together.
There's a sister who ...more
[A formidable 3.5]
[Originally appeared here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/li...]
She has done it in the past; and she does it again here. Ali Smith’s fixation on, and a visible mastery of, story-telling across timeline, in no particular order, shines in this experimental, breezy novel as well.
Centred around the 30-something Elisabeth Demand and her centenarian friend, Daniel Gluck, Autumn is a long, vibrant, occasionally melancholic, sometimes acerbic but entirely warming season of their fr ...more
Update: Shortlisted for the Booker and it would be a wonderfully worthy winner - and the novel has aged better than I had predicted - if anything as the written-as-you-read-it Brexit autumn leaves have faded, the evergreen parts of the text show through.
Pauline Boty with her, now lost, painting Scandal 63 based on (a variation of) the famous Christine Keeler photographic portrait by Lewis Morley.
For my full review of Autumn please see the excellent Mookse and Gripes blog (to which this review is ...more
My thoughts are all over the place for this book – maybe fitting because this is what this book is as well: all over the place. There is undeniable brilliance here: sentences so profound they made me stop in my tracks, word plays so wonderful I had to read them twice, musing on a great number of important things. It comes as no surprise that Ali Smith is a genius. But for some reasons these sparks of brilliance never came together for a coherent whole for me – and I guess this was also the point ...more
The novel seems to want to present me with all the sadness in the world, and all the bleakness of recent history, and it seemed determined to remind me of all the meannesses that people can heap upon one another (some of it through neglect) (some of it through evil acts)--and yet even as the novel forced me to face these things, at its center was a beautiful hope. The novel is a paean to the power of language, and to the mystery of human interaction, and to the way small daily gestures of kindne ...more
I was going to save this to read in the autumn, but then it was included in the Man Booker Prize Long List so I moved it up.
This is described as a post-Brexit novel, and it does take place in that world and mentions it a few times in a few different ways, but more in the way that all of us continue in the world as it changes around us.
"...I'm tired of the news. I'm tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren't, and deals so simplistically with what's truly appalling. I'm tired of the...more
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.