The Paris Review

Books Only a Mother Could Love

Ali Smith. Photo: Christian Sinibaldi. © Christian Sinibaldi.

Dear Mum, I know it’s not Mother’s Day in Scotland, but it is here in America. The Queen has two birthdays—maybe you can have two Mother’s Days? Anyway, I’m only halfway through Ali Smith’s , but it’s already sad and clever and beautiful. The book is composed of four lectures on literature, tangled up with a narrative of mourning, and is gently self-aware in a way that isn’t annoying. You’d like it, I think. I’ve just ordered another copy online and had it posted to you. I’m sorry it won’t arrive in time for Sunday (I didn’t have much forewarning regarding this extra Mother’s Day). What else from New York? I just read Emmanuel Carrère’s , and it was a splendid, if somewhat traumatic, experience.

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