Ali Smith

Standard Name: Smith, Ali
Birth Name: Alison Smith
Ali Smith is a contemporary Scottish author of fiction, drama, and criticism, remarkable for her love of wordplay and her exuberant writing style. Her short stories and novels contain many literary references, primed by Smith's background in academia, but also involve a fluid and far from academic approach to considerations of language, gender, and reality. Several of her works involve queer themes (a fair few of her characters, especially in her short fiction, appear genderless) and resituate the mythic, Gothic, and fantastic within modern Britain. Her latest works are especially noteworthy for their experiments with temporality.
Photograph of Ali Smith, seated at a table, with books, a water jug, and a cup in front of her. She appears to be at a book signing, and she is holding a pen in one hand, which is resting against her chin. She is wearing a white collared shirt dark rectangular-framed glasses, and her brown is shoulder-length with bangs.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Dedications Jackie Kay
JK titled her new poetry collection Fiere: a Scots word for friend or companion, familiar to many from Burns 's Auld Lang Syne. She dedicated it to Ali Smith .
Blackwell’s Online Bookshop.
Kay, Jackie. Fiere. Pan Macmillan Picador, 2011.
Education Gillian Allnutt
Newnham, established in 1871 as a house in which young women could reside while attending lectures in Cambridge, was in 1971 one of the university's only three all-female colleges. (Since then Girton has begun to...
Friends, Associates Sarah Waters
An interviewer reported that SWmoves in a circle of up-and-coming women writers, including Stella Duffy , Ali Smith , Charlotte Mendelson , and Joanna Briscoe .
McCrum, Robert. “What lies beneath”.
Friends, Associates Jackie Kay
Her friendship with a gay man called Alastair Cameron began during her schooldays. She later became close to a Scottish writer of an older generation, Liz Lochhead , and liked and admired the yet more...
Literary responses Bernardine Evaristo
The cover bears an endorsement from Ali Smith .
Literary responses Leonora Carrington
In her 2005 introduction to the novel, Ali Smith quotes the seminal feminist work on LC 's creativity by art historian Whitney Chadwick : LChas rejected the ideals of youth and beauty that dominate...
Literary responses Willa Muir
Thirty-seven years later, WM looked back at this first novel and felt it had enough material in it for two novels, which I was too amateurish to realize at the time.
Muir, Willa. Belonging. Hogarth Press, 1968.
The Glasgow Herald...
Literary responses Helen Oyeyemi
Reviewers lavished praise on The Icarus Girl, noting especially Oyeyemi's use of voice and perspective. Ali Smith called it a reworking of the doppelgänger myth, and wrote: Oyeyemi's childish, almost embarrassingly open prose style...
Literary responses Nan Shepherd
Novelist Ali Smith wrote that this work was an enlightened fusion of philosophy and reportage on the forms and force of life everywhere in the beloved landscape.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Robert Macfarlane called it one of the most...
Occupation Liz Lochhead
In the last three of these jobs she was moving gradually further out from Glasgow proper. She did not enjoy school-teaching, and refers to herself as the most reluctant member of the Art Department.
Lochhead, Liz. True Confessions and New Clichés. Polygon Books, 1985.
Occupation Nan Shepherd
NS was quick-witted, jovial, and passionate about her craft: qualities that lent themselves naturally to teaching. She began lecturing in English at Aberdeen Training Centre for Teachers (later Aberdeen College of Education) in 1916, though...
Publishing Leonora Carrington
The Hearing Trumpet has been published in several editions since the 1970s. The 1996 Exact Change edition is illustrated with line drawings by LC 's eldest son, Pablo Weisz Carrington , who also is an...
Reception Sylvia Townsend Warner
The collection was acclaimed. A critic in the Nation noted: Warner is a poet of great and consistent achievement.
Warner, Sylvia Townsend. Sylvia Townsend Warner: Selected Poems. Carcanet Press, 1985.
back cover
Other reviewers were equally enthusiastic, praising her craftsmanship, musical ear, and the great variety...
Reception Nan Shepherd
NS 's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has been written by the practising Scottish novelist Ali Smith . In 2016 it was announced that her image had been chosen to appear on...
Textual Features Nan Shepherd
Her poetry, says Ali Smith , hymns the combination of nature and intellect, and engages passionately with the vastness, beauty, and ultimate indifference of rock, water, light, and air. Smith's words for the love-sonnets concluding...


6 June 2013
Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo , in her early thirties, published a first novel, We Need New Names, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize.