The First Person and Other Stories, Hardback Book

The First Person and Other Stories Hardback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


"The First Person and Other Stories" effortlessly appeals to our hearts, heads and funny bones.

Always intellectually playful, but also very moving and funny, Smith explores the ways and whys of storytelling.

In one, a middle-aged woman conducts a poignant conversation with her gauche fourteen-year-old self.

In another, an innocent supermarket shopper finds in her trolley a foul-mouthed, insulting and beautiful child.

Challenging the boundaries between fiction and reality, a third presents its narrator, 'Ali', as she drinks tea, phones a friend and muses on the relationship between the short story and - a nymph.

Innovative, sophisticated and intelligent, the stories in "The First Person and Other Stories" are packed full of ideas, jokes, nuance and compassion.

Ali Smith and the short story are made for each other.


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I wasn't really interested in most of the stories in this collection, but then I've never read a short story collection in which every story was equally intriguing. I felt they went over my head.<br/><br/>The title itself is self-consciously literary, since highly literate writerly types find themselves thinking in terms of first, second and third person. The first story in the collection includes a wonderful collection of quotations about short stories; a sure sign that this is a book designed to appeal to the short story enthusiast. Perhaps I simply haven't read enough short stories, and need to hone my ability to get right in to a short from the very first sentence.<br/><br/>The story which will stay in my mind is 'The Child', about a cute-looking but nasty creature whose mothers keep abandoning him in supermarket trolleys for others to take home.<br/><br/>I also liked the story about the woman who speaks with her teenaged self. <br/>

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