Ali Smith, The Accidental

Ulrike Tancke (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz)
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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 is interrupted by the sudden appearance of the mysterious Amber.

1364 words

Citation: Tancke, Ulrike. "The Accidental". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 April 2010 [, accessed 11 December 2023.]

23033 The Accidental 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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