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how to be bothAli Smith is an unrepentant stylist. She is not interested in “transparent” prose that aims to melt before the reader’s eyes. Instead she revels in the artifice of language, in poetic free-flow wordplay. Like her previous works, The Accidental and There But For The, Smith’s latest novel how to be both—which has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize—reads as if she has summoned words from some region of the unconscious and released them in a trance. Yet this is careful artifice as well.

How to be both has two…

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