Ali Smith: The Accidental

(1364 words)
  • Ulrike Tancke (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz )

Ali Smith’s third novel, The Accidental, was published in 2005 to great critical acclaim: it won the Whitbread Novel Award 2005 and was shortlisted in the same year for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction; critics and reviewers lauded its stylistic unconventionality and skilful portrayal of the characters’ consciousness.

The novel presents the reader with a mysterious scenario: alternating between the points of view of its four main characters, it tells the story of the Smart family – Michael, a university lecturer in English Literature, his wife Eve, a writer, and Eve’s children from a previous marriage, twelve year-old Astrid and fifteen year-old Magnus – whose summer holiday in Norfolk i…

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Tancke, Ulrike. "The Accidental". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 April 2010
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]