“Autumn” by Ali Smith is the only work of hers that I have read. She again is Long Listed for the Man Booker Prize. I have no idea why, except that it is a novel of British nostalgia and currency in a year the Long List is dominated by established writers. The platform that Ms. Smith uses for this tour is the life-long relationship between a British child,Elisabeth, and her elderly neighbor,Mr. Gluck, who expands her life horizons despite the obstacles of her mother. These obstacles include the generational conflict about Brexit, including immigration. The child become woman is the narrator. There are also vignettes about Christine Keeler, Pauline Boty and Pop Art and musings about life as Mr. Gluck lays dying. Ms. Keeler and Ms. Boty connection is the latter’s work “Scandal ’63” which captured the Profumo Affair which involved Ms. Keeler.
I previously reviewed “Days Without End” which is also Long-Listed this year. It is far superior work of literature.