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  • Published: 6 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241993958
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $22.99

Companion piece

The new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of How to be both

The unmissable new work from Ali Smith, following the dazzling Man Booker-shortlisted Seasonal Quartet

'A story is never an answer. A story is always a question.'

Here we are in extraordinary times.
Is this history?

What happens when we cease to trust governments, the media, each other?
What have we lost?
What stays with us?
What does it take to unlock our future?

Following her astonishing quartet of Seasonal novels, Ali Smith again lights a way for us through the nightmarish now, in a vital celebration of companionship in all its forms.

'Every hello, like every voice, holds its story ready, waiting.'

  • Published: 6 June 2023
  • ISBN: 9780241993958
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the author of Free Love and Other Stories, Like, Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy, The First Person and Other Stories, There but for the, Artful, How to be both, Public library and other stories and Autumn. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize. Ali Smith lives in Cambridge.

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Praise for Companion piece

A lockdown story of wayward genius . . . Lyrical visions alternate with fables and farce, history with Covid, in the scheme-busting fifth part of Smith's seasonal quartet

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Guardian

Scintillating . . . Companion Piece, like life, is messy, funny, sad, beautiful and mysterious

Alex Preston, Observer

Both a standalone novel and a coda to her Seasonal quartet, Ali Smith's latest, set during the pandemic, offers a wise and humane voice for perilous times

Financial Times

Superb, radical, remarkable

Mohsin Hamid, New York Times

Smith's way of telling a story - looping in time; switching from one fast-flicking consciousness to another; tying up radically different periods of history in a single place - and her amused delight in the flexibilities of language feel not only modernist but, better than that, modern

The New Statesman

Alive to the music and light of language

Washington Post

Smith's work is brainy and moving, thoughtful and playful


Like Smith's other novels, Companion piece is a formally dazzling story, constructed from a découpage of funny, messy, beautifully disparate elements


It is remarkable to be alive at the same time as Scottish writer Ali Smith . . . Smith is intellectually rigorous yet democratic, warm and - crucially - playful

Los Angeles Times