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Ali Smith's Biography

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Who is Ali Smith?

Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962. Her father had an electrical shop.

Smith worked as a lecturer in Edinburgh.

The youngest of five children Ali Smith could read by the time she was three and had read much of Joyce, Orwell and Swift before she was 10. She often spent the money she earned serving chips in the cafe in Littlewoods on books.

As well as her work as an author, Ali Smith publishes reviews and journalism and has been a judge on The Guardian First Book Award.

Ali Smith's published work tends to alternate between short stories and novels. Her first book, Free Love and Other Stories (1995), was a huge critical success and won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award.

In 1997 her first novel, Like, was published. After another book of short stories, Ali Smith followed up with a novel that was shortlisted for both the Booker and Orange prizes - Hotel World (2001). A critical success it won the Encore Award, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year Award.

Ali Smith followed up another book of short stories with the Booker 2005 shortlisted, The Accidental, which also reached the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006 shortlist.

In the Telegraph Review, Ali Smith mentioned three of her favourite works: Beryl the Peril annuals by anon; Margaret Tait's poems; and Liz Lochhead's Memo for Spring.

In 2014, Ali Smith won the Goldsmiths Prize for original fiction for her novel How to be Both.

In 2017, Ali Smith's Autumn was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

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