The First Person and Other Stories and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $23.95
  • Save: $3.82 (16%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Details
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The First Person: and Oth... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book has a small amount of wear visible on the binding, cover, pages. Selection as wide as the Mississippi.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The First Person: and Other Stories Hardcover – January 6, 2009

3 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.13
$1.69 $0.01

Grand Opening by Carl Weber
Featured New Release in Literature & Fiction
Check out Grand Opening, by Carl Weber, a featured new release this month. Learn more | See related books
$20.13 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The First Person: and Other Stories + There But For The: A Novel + Hotel World
Price for all three: $40.66

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith handily proves the truism that everyone has their own tale to tell in this bangup collection. From The History of History, where a young narrator focuses on the fashion-related aspects of the beheading of Mary, queen of Scots, to block out problems at home, to Writ, where a grown woman sits down for an involved chat with her 14-year-old self, the author takes readers on lyrical rides through the lives of everyday Britons. The Child begins with an ordinary situation—a trip to the grocery—and shoots into fantasy when an infant begins telling crass jokes. Others, such as I Know Something You Don't Know, explore heartbreaking reality, in this case a desperate mother turning to phone-book healers and psychics to cure her son's illness. And in the title story, the narrator weighs her fears of being in a relationship against her apprehension at being alone. At once quirky and compulsively readable, this collection puts a layered and enjoyable spin on the many forms of the short story. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This collection of 12 intriguing short stories, by British novelist and Booker nominee Smith (Hotel World, 2001), is long on atmospherics and short on conventional plotting. In “The Child,” a woman goes grocery shopping, but her mundane chore turns surreal when she encounters an angelic-looking abandoned baby, whom she attempts to help. When the child begins spewing hateful misognynistic and racist jokes, the woman decides that reabandonment is the best way to go. In “I Know Something You Don’t Know,” a mother distraught over her son’s deadly illness calls up two alternative healers she finds in the Yellow Pages. One robs her blind, while the other makes only a feeble attempt to read the boy’s fortune. If Smith excels at creating, both in her stories and in her readers, a sense of eerie dislocation, she can also stir up an enchanting sense of whimsy, as in “The Third Person,” which posits a dozen beguiling scenarios for the future of a relationship, noting the “endlesss music that’s there between people, waiting to be played.” --Joanne Wilkinson
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307377717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307377715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,738,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Eric Anderson on November 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What place do stories have in the great bloated canon of literature? Some consider them as playful side-thoughts compared to the larger in-depth novels that authors produce. Others think of them as an author's most essential ideas pared down to the bare essentials, brief and perfect in their distillation. It probably depends on what author you are reading. This is a debate Ali Smith engages with in the opening story of her latest collection and, as a staunch defender of this literary form, the stories contained in this book are robust examples of how imaginative, important and powerful short stories can be.

In this book you'll find a story which describes the seductive reactionary thoughts contained within each of us in the form of a foul-mouthed abandoned baby. In `Writ' the author shows how alien we are in adult form to the child we used to be, suggesting that a constant dialogue is taking place between our present and former selves by explaining how her 14 year-old self has taken up residence in her home. There is a daring to Smith's writing which pushes the reader out of conventional ways of thinking and the comfortable, methodical way readers might ingest stories. Mythic tropes are invited to engage in the particulars of the present day. Particular people in particular places at particular times expand into what is universal. Paragraphs on the pages refuse to be justified and end on the right side of the page in jagged lines. Quotation marks are abandoned. Forms of narrative are teased and taunted to explore the meaning of points of view. Nameless voices banter back and forth in sensual, intimate, bodily play. Conclusions are written, abandoned, rewritten, erased, rewritten.

Yet these stories are not mere playful experiments with literary forms. They contain real heart.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By demerson19 on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ali Smith's world is at times bleak and lonely, at times rich and full, but in all cases a different take on life than we usually see. Smith has garnered a strong following in her short career, and this new Anchor books edition of The First Person and Other Stories solidifies the fact that she is a voice we will continue to hear from. Whether this book will be the one recommended to new readers of her work is another question.

Smith plays with the short story form, at times unsuccessfully. Her opening story, "True Short Story," is what the title says -- a true short story. The narrator overhears two men, possibly father and son, discussing literature. Their thinking drives the narrator to talk to her literary friend, battling cancer, to discuss if the short story is truly a slim nymph as described by the younger of the two men. But the story sounds more like a memoir than a short story, which is ironic since the story is a celebration of the short story.

But when she succeeds Smith proves she is worth the patience. "The Child" features a foul-mouthed, talking baby who simply shows up in the narrator's shopping cart one day. Despite her resistance to what is perhaps things to come, she finds herself drawn into caring for the sexist, racist, angelic-looking child. But in the end she finds another way to solve her problem.

While "The Child" features resolution, Smith is comfortable not finishing the story. Many of the selections show us the modern "slice-of-life" snippets, but they are not without future direction. Smith differs from many contemporary writers in that some of the stories have hope built in them as well.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on February 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It takes great skill to balance something surreal with the reality of person and place. Ali Smith does that expertly in her new collection, The First Person and Other Stories. I laughed aloud when I read "The Child," in which a toddler looks one way and acts quite another. Smith's cleverness and sense of the surreal appears in "Fidelio and Bess" when the characters Porgy & Bess begin to spear in Beethoven's Fidelio. In "Writ" a woman is visited by her teenage self. Strange and surreal, but as with each story, used in a way that leads to reality and to an understanding of our humanity. If you're interested in short stories, consider reading the finely crafted ones in The First Person.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?