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How to be Both

by Ali Smith

How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s a child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real – and all life’s givens get given a second chance.

Shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

‘I take my hat off to Ali Smith.  Her writing lifts the soul.’ Evening Standard

‘She’s a genius, genuinely modern in the heroic, glorious sense.’  Alain de Botton

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



28 August, 2014

About Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. Her first book, Free Love, won the Saltire First Book Award. She is also the author of Like (1997); Other Stories and Other Stories (1999); Hotel World (2001), which was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize in 2001 and won the Encore Award, the East England Arts Award of the Year and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award in 2002; The Whole Story and Other Stories (2003); The Accidental (2005), which won the 2005 Whitbread Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize; The First Person and Other Stories (2008) and How to be both (2014), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Other books by Ali Smith


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