From the peerless author of Autumn and How to be both - the second novel in the Seasonal quartet.
Winter? Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. The shortest days, the longest nights. The trees are bare and shivering. The summer's leaves? Dead litter.
The world shrinks; the sap sinks. But winter makes things visible. And if there's ice, there'll be fire.
In Ali Smith's Winter, lifeforce matches up to the toughest of the seasons. In this second novel in her acclaimed Seasonal cycle, the follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith's shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.
It's the season that teaches us survival.
Here comes Winter.
Reviewed by Olivia at Angus & Robertson Bookworld:
Winter’s first chapter opens with a list of dead things. From history and romance, to God and jazz, it seems nothing is spared the death stroke of author Ali Smith’s pen, but (much like winter itself) such bleakness can’t last long. What begins as a list of the cultural dead ends up leaving the reader with the impression of having witnessed dazzling life unfold.
The second novel in Smith’s astonishing Seasonal quartet, Winter is reminiscent of its predecessor Autumn insofar as the turmoil of the season reflects that which is personally felt by the characters, but in a way that never feels contrived. These characters seem frozen, so fixed to the lies they tell themselves and the world that if they were to suffer a blow they would shatter completely. And shatter they do, but to witness these lies unravel and give way to the truth under Smith’s masterful hand is a rare privilege. A wry and beautiful novel, Winter points to the ways in which we create our own mythology, of nature and of people, that is born from the past and that holds up our hope in the promise of the future.