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The Reader


'Is there any better gift for a writer than the chance to put a book together of writing by others that she or he has loved? Is there any truer gift to a reader from any writer?' - Ali Smith

This is a collection of what Ali Smith has loved over the course of her reading life, in her twenties, as a teenager, a child. A book full of pieces from wonderful writers - Plath, Grassic Gibbon, Spark, Morgan, Grace Paley, Yeats, Atwood. But also full of lesser known writers about which readers will be very happy to hear, like Joseph Roth, only just gaining proper reputation status now, Clarice Lispector, the Brazilian genius who's far too underpublished here, like Leonora Carrington, the socialite who ran away to be a surrealist, and Armando, the artist whose writings are beautiful and lucid. Full of pieces by brand new wonderful writers; full of surprises, like how good Lee Miller was at journalism, how beautifully Dilys Powell writes about Greece. Full of unexpected things - turning the page to find the lyric of 'It's only a Paper Moon', or Beryl the Peril, or The Little House on the Prairie.

Throughout, each piece is edited so as to read discretely, and arranged into a book which will reveal more about the writer who's edited it than a hundred press interviews ever would. This book is a classic about the sheer love of reading that every real reader knows.

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