Winter | Penguin Random House Canada
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Winter

Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
"What Smith has achieved in her cycle so far is exactly what we need artists to do in disorienting times: make sense of events, console us, show us how we got here, help us believe that we will find our way through. Often, that's what we lean on the classics for, finding answers in metaphor. But in "Winter," as in "Autumn," Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age." - The Boston Globe

“There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring.” – The New York Times

The dazzling second novel in Ali Smith's essential Seasonal Quartet--from the Baileys Prize-winning, Man Booker-shortlisted author of Autumn and How to be both

Shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize for Political Writing


Winter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art's mother is seeing things.
 
Come to think of it, Art's seeing things himself.
When four people, strangers and family, converge on a 15 bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?
 
Winter. It makes things visible. In Ali Smith's Winter, life-force matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith's shapeshifting novel casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.

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God was dead: to begin with.
     And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead.
Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The book was dead. Modernism, postmodernism, realism and surrealism were all dead. Jazz was dead...
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PRAISE FOR

One of The Guardian's Best Books of 2017

Shortlisted for the 2018 Orwell Prize for Political Writing


‘“Winter is an insubordinate folk tale, with echoes of the fiction of Iris Murdoch and Angela Carter. . .There are few writers on the world stage who are producing fiction this offbeat and alluring. . .[Ali Smith] intends to send a chill up your shanks and she succeeds, jubilantly. . .Her dialogue is a series of pine cones flung at rosy cheeks"  The New York Times

"Smith is routinely brilliant, knowing, masterful. . .In Winter, the light inside this great novelist's gorgeous snow globe is utterly original, and it definitely illuminates"  New York Times Book Review

"Winter is a stunning meditation on a complex, emotional moment in history"  Time 

“Ali Smith is both intensely political and deliciously playful.” The New Yorker
 
“It’s impossible…not to admire the author’s ability to cultivate so much from a sterile season.” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“[Smith has a] truly original, emotionally intelligent body of work.” The Toronto Star
 
“Ali Smith … writes leaps and bounds around anyone else. Her prose is too luminous, her humanity too irrepressible”The Atlantic
 
“We’re living in the midst of Smith’s brilliant, breathtakingly immediate sequence of four seasonal novels just as we live in the middle of the piece of history that is our present.” Slate

"The only preparation required to savor the Scottish writer Ali Smith’s virtuosic Winter is to pay attention to the world we’ve recently been living in. . .What Smith has achieved in her cycle so far is exactly what we need artists to do in disorienting times: make sense of events, console us, show us how we got here, help us believe that we will find our way through. . .Smith gives us a potent, necessary source of sustenance that speaks directly to our age. . .Yet we, like her characters, are past the winter solstice now — the darkest part of the coldest season done. From here on out, we’re headed toward the light. . .It doesn’t feel that way, I know. But in the midst of Winter, each page touched with human grace, you might just begin to believe" - Boston Globe

“Leaping, laughing, sad, generous and winter-wise, this is a thing of grace.”The Guardian

“I have. . . been mesmerised by Ali Smith’s daringly ambitious quartet of contemporary life. . .She is an astonishing writer at the height of her powers.” – The Guardian
 
“Infused with some much needed humour, happiness and hope, Winter too is its own graceful thing.” The Independent

"Ali Smith is flat-out brilliant, and she's on fire these days. . .You can trust Smith to show us once again with her uncanny ability to combine brainy playfulness with depth, topicality with timelessness, and complexity with accessibility while delivering an impassioned defence of human decency and art"  NPR
 
“Like Autumn, it combines comedy with social criticism, playfulness with political indictment. . . . For all its wit and whimsy, Winter suggests we are living through an era of lowering catastrophe in which green shoots are seldom seen.” The Times

“After the success of Autumn, deservedly shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year, the Scottish author returns to her quartet of achingly up-to-date fictional responses to the fractured, chaotic world, as she sees it.” The National

"A sprightly, digressive, intriguing fandango on life and time" – Kirkus Reviews

"The stunningly original Smith again breaks every conceivable narrative rule; reflecting her longstanding affinity for Modernism, what she gives us instead is a stylistically innovative cultural bricolage that celebrates the ecstasy of artistic influence.  It demands and richly rewards close attention. . .[Autumn and Winter] each add to Smith’s growing collection of glittering literary paving stones, along a path that’s hopefully leading toward the Nobel she deserves. In the interim, we can (re)read Winter— and eagerly await the coming of Spring.”  Minneapolis Journal Sentinel (USA Today)

“Smith is conducting a remarkable experiment: responding to current events in something like real time, and creating works of fiction that are also kaleidoscopic investigations of British art and identity. . . Her prose is too luminous, her humanity too irrepressible, to be clouded over.”The Atlantic

"[Ali Smith] is one of the rarest creatures in the world: a really fearless novelist. . .her prose is melodic, associative, wise, sometimes maddening. . .she shares with Mantel and Ishiguro a sense of human caution, a need to understand, a wariness of the high-handedly authorial. All write with the humility of adulthood" – Chicago Tribune

"The second in Smith’s quartet of seasonal novels displays her mastery at weaving allusive magic into the tragicomedies of British people and politics. . .a bleak, beautiful tale greater than the sum of its references" – Vulture 

"An engaging novel due to the ecstatic energy of Smith’s writing, which is always present on the page"  Publishers Weekly 

"These individuals converge to confront each other in the big shabby house, like characters in a Chekhov play. At first, hellish implosion looms. Slowly, erratically, connection creeps in. Lux quietly mediates. Ire softens. Sophia at last eats something. Art resees Nature. . .Winter gives the patient reader a colorful, witty — yes, warming — divertissement" – San Francisco Chronicle  

'With Iris and Lux as catalysts, scenes from Christmas past unfold, and our narrow views of Sophia and Art widen and deepen, filled with the secrets and substance of their histories, even as the characters themselves seem to expand.As in Sophia’s case, for Art this enlargement is announced by a hallucination — “not a real thing,” as Lux tells Iris, whose response speaks for the book’s own expansive spirit: “Where would we be without our ability to see beyond what it is we’re supposed to be seeing?”’  The Minneapolis Star Tribune 

“Ali Smith’s seasons are chockfull of other bookish treats and tricks: wordplay in a myriad of forms; luscious, textured prose; allusions galore; shifting points of view; characters who seem to jump right out of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare and our own circles of friends and family. At times, all these goodies threaten to tumble us into a literary junk shop, but Smith exerts a literary master’s superb confidence in her readers”The Millions