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This was my reading experience (because that’s exactly what it was) with Ali Smith. I had heard a lot about her and I have to read There But For The for my studies and How To Be Both for work, but I thought I’d read first one of her smaller works, to test the waters, so to speak. Now I understand. I understand what people were talking about when they were talking about the talent and originality of Ali Smith. A true literary pioneer of our age.

Everything fit together perfectly in this book. The characters were fascinating, and Smith achieves to leave the reader satisfied without disclosing every detail of the story. It’s a simple story, but told in such a beautiful way that what lies underneath it is almost as powerful as the words in the page.

The way it tackles retelling the myth of Iphis is unusual and very creative (not to mention meta). It breaks all borders and ideas of gender and sexual identity, to portray people as we really are. It concerns feminism, in its 21st century wave, gender inequality, sexuality in its fluidity, as well as problems of globalisation and ecological issues. All of this in just 160 pages! And it works so perfectly!

This is just the first step in my journey reading all of Ali Smith’s novels and short stories. I’m very glad I read it. I like finding writers that bring something genuinely new with their style and language, as well as narratives that draw the reader in in such a way.