The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: The Third Person

the first person and other stories

The Third Person is one of the shorter works in Ali Smith’s anthology, and I feel like it might be related two other stories – The Second Person and The First Person – which I’ll be reading later. The Third Person is written in an interesting format. It’s a bunch of different stories/ moments in life haphazardly put together, and told in the third-person point of view. For instance, there’s an old woman who hits a refuse-collector with a spade one morning while he is on duty. “She looks too old, too proper, too well dressed, to have done what she’s just done,” and her actions generate a mix response from his colleagues. From there, the plot-line jumps to a Mediterranean resort where two friends “bright pink from four days of too much sun” are seen enjoying lunch before one of them realizes that her money has been stolen by a lovely little beggar girl.

This is one of the most unorthodox stories I’ve ever read, but there’s something very lyrical about it, which I’m at a loss to explain. So I’ll leave you with this fascinating quote from the story instead… ūüôā

The third person is another pair of eyes. The third person is a presentiment of God. The third person is a way to tell the story. The third person is a revitalization of the dead.

It’s a theatre of living people.


  1. Sounds fascinating! Have put on my TBR list ūüôā

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far I like this more than her novel How to Be Both.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Person is another story in this collection where Smith is focusing on the use of pronouns. Unlike The Third Person which has multiple story-lines, The Second Person is based on a single plot where two lovers are […]


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