There But For The by Ali Smith
A Novel

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In terms of technique, Smith is a master of what one reviewer has felicitously called "dropped stitches", deliberate gaps in the story...This is great...
-Guardian

Synopsis

From the award-winning author of Hotel World and The Accidental, a dazzling, funny, and wonderfully exhilarating new novel.
 
At a dinner party in the posh London suburb of Greenwich, Miles Garth suddenly leaves the table midway through the meal, locks himself in an upstairs room, and refuses to leave. An eclectic group of neighbors and friends slowly gathers around the house, and Miles’s story is told from the points of view of four of them: Anna, a woman in her forties; Mark, a man in his sixties; May, a woman in her eighties; and a ten-year-old named Brooke. The thing is, none of these people knows Miles more than slightly. How much is it possible for us to know about a stranger? And what are the consequences of even the most casual, fleeting moments we share every day with one another?

Brilliantly audacious, disarmingly playful, and full of Smith’s trademark wit and puns, There but for the is a deft exploration of the human need for separation—from our pasts and from one another—and the redemptive possibilities for connection. It is a tour de force by one of our finest writers.
 

About Ali Smith

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ALI SMITH is the author of eight previous works of fiction, including the novel Hotel World, which was short-listed for both the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize and won the Encore Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award, and The Accidental, which won the Whitbread Award and was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. Her story collections include Free Love, which won a Saltire Society First Book of the Year Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award, and The Whole Story and Other Stories. Born in Inverness, Scotland, Smith lives in Cambridge, England.
 
Published September 13, 2011 by Anchor. 258 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Jul 17 2012

In terms of technique, Smith is a master of what one reviewer has felicitously called "dropped stitches", deliberate gaps in the story...This is great...

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