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Ali Smith’s “Winter” runs hot in the cold

From Shakespearean romance to nuclear crisis, Smith’s latest seasonal instalment is an elegant reflection on activism and protest

By Rebecca Swirsky   January 2018

Ali Smith’s ambitious series of four consecutive books named for each season are the literary version of a high-wire act. Delivered dangerously close to publication date, they require trust from both publisher and author. Yet this allows each book to be highly topical. Autumn, the first in the quartet, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize (Smith’s 2014 novel How to Be Both was awarded the Baileys, Goldsmiths and Costa prizes) and hailed as the “First Great Brexit Novel.” Winter, set in the coldest season, runs to a hotter temperature, championing…

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