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There but for the - Ali Smith

There but for the - Ali Smith

Title: There but for the

Author:  Ali Smith

ISBN:  9780241143407

Weight:  771g

Dated and signed first edition, first printing



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Our price:  £21.99

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There but for the by Ali Smith

Imagine you give a dinner party and a friend of a friend brings a stranger to your house as his guest.  He seems pleasant enough.

Imagine that this stranger goes upstairs halfway through the dinner party and locks himself in one of your bedrooms and won’t come out.

Imagine you can’t move him for days, weeks, months.  If ever.

This is what Miles does, in a chichi house in the historic borough of Greenwich, in the year 2009-10, in There but for the.  Who is Miles, then?  And what does it mean, exactly, to live with other people?

Sharply satirical and sharply compassionate, with an eye to the meanings of the smallest of words and the slightest of resonances, There but for the fuses disparate perspectives in a crucially communal expression of identity and explores our very human attempts to navigate between despair and hope, enormity and intimacy, cliché and grace.

Ali Smith’s dazzling new novel is a funny, moving book about time, memory, thought, presence, quietness in a noisy time, and the importance of hearing ourselves think.

Peer & Press Reviews

A warm, playful, dazzlingly written modern fable.

Irish Independent

Whimsically devastating.  Playful, humorous, serious, profoundly clever and profoundly affecting.


A playful yet erudite celebration of words…  Smith’s prose is not just supple, it’s acrobatic.

Daily Telegraph

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title: There but for the
Book Features
Edition / printing: First edition, first printing
Overall condition: Fine / Fine (for more info, see our article on condition grades)
Signed: On the title page
Dated: 2 June 2011 [publication day]
Book Stats
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
Awards and prizes: [Baileys] Orange Prize for Fiction 2012 – longlist
Publication date:
Printed by: Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13: 9780241143407
ISBN 10: 0241143403
Format: Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages: 357
Size (h x w x d): 225 x 143 x 35mm
Design Credits
Author photo: Sarah Wood
Jacket image: Rachel Whiteread
Jacket photography: Prudence Cuming Associates / Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

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