Ali Smith's latest novel, Autumn, is set in the wake of the Brexit vote. Daniel is a century old. Elisabeth, born in 1984, has her eye on the future. The United Kingdom is in pieces, divided by a historic once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand in hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.
From the imagination of the peerless Smith (Brighton Festival Guest Director 2015), this is a meditation on a world growing ever more bordered and exclusive, on what richness and worth are, on what harvest means. This first in a seasonal quartet casts an eye over our own time.