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Autumn: SHORTLISTED for the Man Booker Prize…
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Autumn: SHORTLISTED for the Man Booker Prize 2017 (Seasonal Quartet) (original 2016; edition 2017)

by Ali Smith (Author)

Series: Seasonal Quartet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,624938,736 (3.89)1 / 297
"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"--… (more)
Member:anicegreenleaf
Title:Autumn: SHORTLISTED for the Man Booker Prize 2017 (Seasonal Quartet)
Authors:Ali Smith (Author)
Info:Penguin (2017), Edition: 01, 272 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

Autumn by Ali Smith (2016)

Recently added byMikayla1993, framji, private library, Arina8888, Elizabeth_Blondin, canningse, ItsCC
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» See also 297 mentions

English (89)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (93)
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
There are some beautiful passages, and I enjoy the relationship and developing stories of Daniel and Elisabeth, but overall, this was not a book I enjoyed. I listened to the audio and there were too many passages that were just litanies of things and thoughts. I felt as if Smith was just trying to be too clever and stream-of-consciousy, and it really didn't work
I enjoyed her ongoing struggles to get her passport! ( )
  MarshaKT | Jan 16, 2022 |
Elisabeth’s quirky and neglectful mother often leaves her young daughter to her own devices.

Elisabeth becomes fast friends with her neighbor, the elderly Mr Gluck, and is introduced to a new world that opens her eyes to art, philosophy and conversation.

As she grows up, she loses touch, but on a return visit home, she learns that Mr Gluck is now in a care home. He is no longer verbal, but Elisabeth visits him and revisits their friendship in a stream of consciousness of wonderful memories. At the same time she is still dealing with her unorthodox mother.

There are many insights on aging – how the autumn of one’s life is green and golden and doesn’t look much different than summer. But as autumn progresses, winter approaches.

This is the first published in a quartet of books named for the seasons.I had not read Ali Smith previously. I plan to go on with the quartet and also perhaps other of Ali’s Smith’s work. It’s always fun to find a new author. ( )
  streamsong | Dec 10, 2021 |
Quirky novel that tried to weave together a whole lot of things, or maybe put them all together into a collage ("college"). The relationship between Elisabeth and Daniel was nice, but we were also lead down some really strange back alleys that didn't seem to go anywhere. I'm willing to continue with the series, however, to see if we get more of a coherent story. ( )
  Octavia78 | Nov 28, 2021 |
I very nearly bailed on this novel when I realized it was more of a stream-of-consciousness style. But I am so glad I stayed with it. Interesting how the real stories of a mostly forgotten 1960s female artist and also Brexit are integrated into the lives of fictional characters Elisabeth and her elderly friend Daniel. I‘ll definitely seek more of Ali Smith (a couple of her books— not this one— are on the "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" list). ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | Nov 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Aliprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grove, MelodyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hockney, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kustodiev, Boris MichaylovichCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Munday, OliverCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santen, Karina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Spring come to you at the farthest,
In the very end of harvest!
William Shakespeare
At current rates of soil erosion, Britain has just
100 harvests left.
Guardian, 20 July 2016
Green as the grass we lay in corn, in sunlight
Ossie Clark
If I am destined to be happy with you here –
how short is the longest Life.
John Keats
Gently disintegrate me
WS Graham
Dedication
For Gilli Bush-Bailey
see you next week

and for Sarah Margaret
Hardy perennial Wood
First words
It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. Again.
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"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"--

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Book description
Daniel Gluck, a 101-year-old former songwriter, lies asleep and dreaming in his care home. He is regularly visited by 32-year-old Elisabeth Demand, who had been his next door neighbour as a young child. Her mother had disapproved of their early friendship, based on her belief that Daniel was gay, but Elisabeth had nevertheless formed a close bond with him and been inspired by his descriptions of works of art. As a consequence of his influence on her, Elisabeth is now a junior arts lecturer at a London university. A major character in the novel is the long-dead '60s pop artist, Pauline Boty,[6] the subject of Elisabeth's graduate school thesis. The story largely alternates between Daniel's prolonged dreams as he edges closer to death, and Elisabeth's recollections of the origins of their friendship and its repercussions.
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