ContemporaryCompanion Piece by Ali Smith

Companion Piece by Ali Smith


There is no writer alive quite like Ali Smith and in a world saturated by regurgitation and plagiarism that is an achievement beyond measure.

Smith by name and wordsmith by nature, in companion piece she flexes her etymological muscles, dissecting the very centre of language forensically and then crafting a mesmerising whirlwind of a novel that is at times so sharply observant and so contemporary on its politics and commentary on the pandemic and our world it leaves the reader gasping for air, drowning in insight.

Smith is an award winning, revered writer and this is her stand alone addition to her seasonal quartet. Drawing parallels between a time of Covid, when the world was locked down and people were locked in to medieval plague, we find an artist confronted by strangers new and old beneath the spectre of her unwell father. 

There is a dark humour bubbling below the surface, but this is also a deeply reflective story exploring companionship, humanity and history. At times I was thoroughly confused by what was happening, there is a mysterious quality and the narrative tends to jump around but the prose and wit is so exquisite it all seemed to work (how?).

As Sandy, our main character, notes: a writer is never truly alone as they are kept company, in a perpetual conversation with their reader transcending time and place. For fans of Smith, this newly published overture to the Seasons encapsulates everything she brings to the literary world. 

She stands alone, stands out and stands ahead of others ~ Chaya

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