Ali Smith, born in Inverness, Scotland, and Cambridge-educated, has become a literary eminence in Britain. She’s been shortlisted four times for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, among assorted distinguished awards; playwright Sebastian Barry called her “Scotland’s Nobel laureate in waiting.” I have long admired Smith, and am thankful her work’s in the world. That said, “Winter” (the second novel in a projected quartet named for the seasons) didn’t take my heart in both hands. I wanted it to. It promised to – with its cheeky overture: “God was dead: to begin with. And romance … Chivalry … Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead.
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