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.
Citation: Tancke, Ulrike. "The Accidental". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 April 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23033, accessed 11 December 2023.]