Tag Archives: Penguin

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

I think the title story is my favorite among the pronoun-themed stories in this collection. In it, the narrator is a woman possibly in her fifties in a new relationship with “you” who is a bit younger than herself. Because of her age, the narrator is not sure if she wants to pursue this relationship. […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: Astute Fiery Luxurious

In Astute Fiery Luxurious, the narrator who is staying home ill accepts a parcel from the postman before discovering it is a misdelivery. Its address is correct, but no one by the name of the addressee lives in the narrator’s apartment, and there’s something about the parcel that unsettles the narrator. When the narrator’s partner […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: Writ

I love the premise in Writ! In it, the protagonist is a forty-something bisexual woman. After being passionately kissed by a young woman – albeit a total stranger – in broad daylight in the middle of London, the protagonist comes home to find her fourteen-year-old self waiting for her! Although the protagonist is beyond happy […]

The First Person and other stories by Ali Smith: I Know Something You Don’t Know

I Know Something You Don’t Know is a story about Anthony, a little boy suffering from a mysterious illness. Anthony had come home during lunch hour at school one day four months ago and hasn’t been able to leave his bed since then. His mother, Harriet has taken him to see multiple doctors. But none […]

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

The Second 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 imagining what they’d do in a musical instruments store. The narrator pictures her partner (their genders […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: No Exit

In No Exit, the unnamed narrator is a woman at a movie theater who witnesses another woman walking through a fire exit during a film screening. The narrator had been to this theater before, so she knows the door the other woman went through is an illegal emergency exit that leads nowhere and locks from […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: The History of History

In The History of History, the narrator is a teenage girl impacted by her mother’s nervous breakdown. About a month ago out of the blue, the narrator’s mother had told her family that she’s done playing the roles of wife and mother, and insisted that they call her by her name, which is Margaret. We […]

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

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 […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: Present

It is late at night in the middle of November when the story’s unnamed narrator tries to find some peace and quiet in a roadside pub. At this time of the day, only a barmaid and a man are hanging around the pub. The man is a shameless flirt trying to lure the barmaid who […]

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

Next up in The First Person and Other Stories is The Child, and it is just as amusing as True Short Story! It begins at a Waitrose supermarket where the story’s unnamed narrator – a young woman – goes to do her weekly shopping during her lunch break. The most extraordinary thing happens to her […]

The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith: True Short Story

I’m on to my next short story collection, and this time my pick is The First Person and Other Stories by Ali Smith. In its first story, our narrator’s name is also Ali. Ali is at a cafe when she overhears two men at the next table talking about literature, and literature being a subject […]

The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

Leïla Slimani’s slim novel, The Perfect Nanny is one of the most hyped thrillers of 2018. Slimani has drawn inspiration from the cold murders of Lucia and Leo Krim that shocked New York in 2012, and her novel, which shares many similarities with the actual tragedy, is set in Paris. In The Perfect Nanny, Louise is a […]

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Elif Batuman’s story is about Selin (a.k.a. The Idiot), a Turkish American who begins her freshman year in Havard in 1995. Selin is a smart kid, but in Havard where everyone is intelligent, she is nothing special. She is also eighteen, which means she doesn’t have concrete plans for her future. So the story follows […]

The Power by Naomi Alderman

In today’s world where men holding power positions sometimes abuse their power to oppress and subdue others, one often wonders if the world run by women would be more kind and gentle. The Power is Naomi Alderman’s exploration of such a world where patriarchal societies do not exist. The Power is a story told from […]

Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon

I’ve decided to take a small break from The Queen of Crime’s novels and turn to Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series. I haven’t read novels by Simenon before, but I gather that he was a prolific writer – his Inspector Maigret series alone has 75 novels and 28 short stories. Pietr the Latvian written in […]