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
I really enjoyed Autumn, which is possibly Ali Smith’s most accessible book yet, however I wasn’t as wholly blown away by it as most people. I mean it’s still BRILLIANT because it’s Ali Smith. I adored the story of Daniel and Elisabeth over the years, I loved how Elizabeth’s mother developed. I agreed politically on Brexit and her observations of the good and bad... the art bit though just didn’t feel needed and dragged me away from what I was loving. And loving so much. Just my thoughts. Will b ...more
I re-read this at the start of December and still think about it. I've upgraded it to 5 stars.
'Autumn' by Ali Smith
4.5 stars/ 9 out of 10
From the opening sentence (which is referential to the opening of one of Dickens' novels), to the end of this novel, Ali Smith has created a beautiful story which can be read on many levels. Ostensibly it is the story of the friendship between a young woman and an elderly man, that started when the young woman was a child. But there are layers behi ...more
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
Ali Smith is a prolific story writer, critic, and playwright, but her novels alone have blasted her into the mesosphere of critical adulation, and this first part of an exciting seasonal quartet furthers her familiar brand of humorous, gentle, playful, and bedazzling brilliance. Timehopping across the century, the novel focuses on the adopted father relationship between an art lecturer and an enigmatic former dancer, lyricist, and sixties art scenester. Featuring another of Smith’s precocious yo ...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
I finished this novel a few days ago, but put off the review. To speak quite frankly, I think Autumn is a novel that is a touch too smart for me to properly wrap my head around. Smith's prose flips, twists, jumps, and skitters across the page with vivacity and wit, but also left me feeling overwhelmed with stylistic experimentation. So, I turned to interviews with Smith and reviews others have written to better understand what I had just read.
It isn't simply the writing that left me confused, bu ...more
4.5★ (Read and reviewed February 28, 2017)
Oh my, what to make of this book? I’ve not read Ali Smith before, and I can’t recall anything that was quite the mix of poetry, history, art, family dynamics, and philosophy – not to mention politics.
I love her writing – I would have enjoyed the Pop Art more if I’d had any idea who the artist was (link below). And I’m overloaded with politics and populism and Brexit, so less of that would have suited me better, because I was really enjoying the “story”, ...more
"April come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain
May she will stay
Resting in my arms again
June she'll change her tune
In restless walks she'll prowl the night"
--“April Come She Will” lyrics by Paul Simon
"It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times."
Traveling back and forth through time, the past to the present, from Elisabeth’s childhood and meeting her new neighbor Daniel Gluck, to the brink of the political climate that began with Brexit, this story covers a lot of terri ...more