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There But for the by Ali Smith

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Ali Smith, twice shortlisted for both the Man Booker and the Orange Prizes, is back with the sparkling There but for the...

If you like Ali Smith you might also like to read books by A L Kennedy, Jennifer Egan and Monica Ali.


There But for the by Ali Smith

There once was a man who, one night between the main course and the sweet at a dinner party, went upstairs and locked himself in one of the bedrooms of the house of the people who were giving the dinner party ...' As time passes by and the consequences of this stranger's actions ripple outwards, touching the owners, the guests, the neighbours and the whole country, so Ali Smith draws us into a beautiful, strange place where everyone is so much more than they at first appear.

There but for the has been hailed as one of the best books of 2011 by Jeanette Winterson, A.S. Byatt, Patrick Ness, Sebastian Barry, Boyd Tonkin, Erica Wagner and Nick Barley.


'Dazzlingly inventive' A.S. Byatt

'Whimsically devastating. Playful, humorous, serious, profoundly clever and profoundly affecting' Guardian

'A real gem' Erica Wagner, The Times

'Eccentric, adventurous, intoxicating, dazzling. This is a novel with serious ambitions that remains huge fun to read' Literary Review

'If you liked Smith's earlier fiction, you will know that she enjoys setting up a situation before chucking in a literary Molotov cocktail then describing what happens' Sunday Express

'Wonderful, word-playful, compelling' Jeanette Winterson

'Smith can make anything happen, which is why she is one of our most exciting writers today' Daily Telegraph

About the Author

Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. She is the author of Free Love and Other Stories, Like, Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy, The First Person and Other Stories, There but for the, Artful, How to be both, and Public Library and other stories. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th July 2012


Ali Smith

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Penguin Books Ltd


384 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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