Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive, and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else.
How to be both is a novel all about the versatility of art. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving, genre-bending conversation among forms, times, truths, and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structure gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s “givens” get a second chance.
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