Love. #myfriendsarereading Free Love and Other Stories

Reader: A.M., Female, 23, lives in Ho Chi Minh City
Citizenship/nationality: Indian
Book: Free Love and Other Stories by Ali Smith
Photo sent from: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

What is this book; why do you like it?

Ali Smith’s first published book Free Love & Other Stories features short stories spanning love, lust, freedom (sexual and otherwise), obsession, and loss.

Though much is to be said about each short one story particularly struck me. “Text for the Day” features a girl shedding pages of a book wherever she goes, leaving her literary journey for all to explore; words reaching their unexpected, but rightful, places for safe-keeping.

However, my favourite (“The Touching of Wood”) narrates a couple on holiday, noticing the days go by. The temporal conclusion of each day evokes the anxiety of a possible conclusion to their trip and perhaps even their relationship.

Smith’s charm lies in her ability to make the transitory nature of relationships something to be treasured not feared: ‘for luck, for love, for a moment, I’m touching wood.

The First Person and Other Stories (2008) was my first taster of Ali Smith, and I’m glad it led me to Free Love and Other Stories.


Editor’s note:

Ali Smith is a Scottish-born author. She has had a rich writing history since the publication of Free Love & Other Stories by Virago in 1995. Her latest book Autumn is out now if instead of the thousand thinkpieces on the Brexit you are looking for fiction writing that takes into its own hands the hard task of looking back at this latter half of the year’s unrest:


(via Simon Prosser)

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