Latest Issue

Ali Smith’s revelatory Summer captures a polarised Britain

Set during the coronavirus outbreak, the final novel of Smith's seasonal quartet is complete with references to Zoombombing, Black Lives Matter and Dominic Cummings’s blog

Costa Novel Award Winner Ali Smith arrives at the 2015 Costa Book Awards at Quaglino's, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 27, 2015. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ali Smith’s new novel is the final volume in a four-part series conceived after she missed her publisher’s deadline for delivery of 2014’s How to be Both. That book was turned out by Hamish Hamilton in six weeks, in spite of a manuscript delivered a year late, and an unusual split structure by which the story begins either in present-day Cambridge or Renaissance Italy, depending on which of the two different (and simultaneously published) versions you happen to read.

The publisher’s quick turnaround inspired Smith…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect