Originally four lectures given by Ali Smith at Oxford University Artful is a tidal wave of ideas in four thematically organised bursts of thought: 'On Time', 'On Form', 'On Edge' and 'On Offer and On Reflection'. Refusing to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted - literally - by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Full of both the poignancy and humour of fiction and all the sideways insights and jaunty angles you would expect from Ali Smith's criticism, it explores form, style, life, love, death, mortality, immortality and what art and writing can mean. Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and the Orange prize, and winner of the Encore Award and the Arts Council Scottish Book Award, Ali Smith is one of our most interesting writers at work today. Artful shows her at her most innovative, warm and generous best. Praise for Artful: "Artful is a revelation; a new kind of book altogether ...it could have only been written by Ali Smith. It will open doors for writers; a kind of Room of One's Own for today's readers. Only Smith won't stay in one room. An intimate study of grief; Artful makes you glad to be alive". (Jackie Kay). "Smart, allusive, informal, playful, audacious". (Independent). "Ali Smith's latest book once again finds her testing the boundaries of genre ...powerful and moving". (London Review of Books). "Artful transports the reader to this magical terrain ...with its blending of criticism and fiction, Artful belongs in a genre of its own ...a joyful and optimistic paean to the healing powers of art. It will be entertaining reading for anyone interested in the art of writing, and also of living, well". (Anita Sethi, New Statesman). "A brilliant and moving book and as delightfully dodgy as the character from Oliver Twist whom the title evokes". (Claire Harman, Evening Standard Books of the Year). Praise for Ali Smith: "Smith can make anything happen, which is why she is one of our most exciting writers today". (Daily Telegraph). "She's a genius, genuinely modern in the heroic, glorious sense". (Alain de Botton). "A true and valuable British original". (Nick Hornby). "Smith's love of language lights up all her books ...she's someone to relish". (The New York Times Book Review). Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of There but for the, Free Love, Like, Hotel World, Other Stories and Other Stories, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental, Girl Meets Boy and The First Person and Other Stories.