A form-bending and endlessly inventive collection of short stories - from the MAN BOOKER PRIZE-SHORTLISTED and WOMEN'S PRIZE-WINNING author of How to be both and the critically acclaimed Seasonal quartet
'A glorious collection that celebrates and subverts the short story form' Independent
'Hurrah for Ali Smith. The best short-story writers make it look as easy as making a cup of tea. Ali Smith is one of these... A bold and brilliant collection of stories by a writer unafraid to give it to us as it is' The Times
A middle-aged woman conducts a poignant conversation with her gauche fourteen-year-old self. An innocent supermarket shopper finds in her trolley a foul-mouthed, insulting and beautiful child. Challenging the boundaries between fiction and reality, we see a narrator, 'Ali', as she drinks tea, phones a friend and muses on the relationship between the short story and a nymph.
Innovative, sophisticated and intelligent, The First Person and Other Stories effortlessly appeals to our hearts, heads and funny bones in equal measure. One-of-a-kind Ali Smith and the short story are made for each other.
Smith handily proves the truism that everyone has their own tale to tell in this bangup collection. From "The History of History," where a young narrator focuses on the fashion-related aspects of the beheading of Mary, queen of Scots, to block out problems at home, to "Writ," where a grown woman sits down for an involved chat with her 14-year-old self, the author takes readers on lyrical rides through the lives of everyday Britons. "The Child" begins with an ordinary situation a trip to the grocery and shoots into fantasy when an infant begins telling crass jokes. Others, such as "I Know Something You Don't Know," explore heartbreaking reality, in this case a desperate mother turning to phone-book healers and psychics to cure her son's illness. And in the title story, the narrator weighs her fears of being in a relationship against her apprehension at being alone. At once quirky and compulsively readable, this collection puts a layered and enjoyable spin on the many forms of the short story.