The name Ali Smith is often mentioned in connection with the Nobel Prize. Rumours will buzz all the more due to her ambitious seasonal quartet. At the Passa Porta Festival she will talk to Annelies Beck about part three, Spring, which will be released during the festival.
Literary politics, political literature
Four seasons, four novels, four political events. With her latest project, Ali Smith has set the bar very high for herself and her fellow authors: a quartet of seasonal novels, each about an important political subject of our time. The plan is simple, the execution ambitious, the result astounding.
With Autumn, Smith wrote a story about a unique friendship and the comforting power of art, and also the first great Brexit novel. In Winter she examined family relations, Donald Trump and fake news. The work was nominated in 2018 – as the first novel in a decade! – for the Orwell Prize, the prize for best political writing.
In a class of her own
Light and serious, experimental and accessible. Ali Smith’s work is unique. In 2018 the TLS surveyed more than 200 British writers, academics and reviewers about ‘The New Elisabethans’, i.e. the best British authors of the moment. And Smith’s name figured at the very top of the list, higher even than Kazuo Ishiguro and Hilary Mantel. No wonder therefore that Smith has been tipped for years already as a future Nobel Prize winner.
Ali Smith (b. 1962) debuted in 1995 with the story collection Free Love and Other Stories. Since then she has published four collections of stories, the essay collection Artful and eight novels, among them Hotel World, The Accidental and How to Be Both. Her work has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize on four occasions and has won many prizes, among others the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Costa Book Awards and the Whitbread Novel of the Year.
Passa Porta, Prometheus, Pelckmans Distributie
Photo Ali Smith © Christian Sinibaldi
After the programme, at 18:00 in La Bellone, Ali Smith will sign her books. The books will also be for sale there.
Passa Porta, Prometheus, Pelckmans Distributie, La Bellone