“All of it? I say.
Lucky for you the ands are ampersands, you say.
You are calling my bluff, of course. I call yours back. I take the book to the tattoo parlour down Mill Road and come home, after several sessions, with exactly this tattoo. I choose to have it done in deep blue, the colour of your eyes. It costs me a fortune. It hurts like irony.
I see you again only when it’s finished and my skin settled down.
You’re unreal, you say when you see it.
You’re the real unreal thing all right.
Less than a month after this we move in together and mix our books up.”


I love this book.

Artful is the product of four lectures Smith gave and combines a background story of coming to terms with death with a literary exploration of themes that deal with elements of grieving, time, fragmentation, etc.

Of course, Smith delivers all of this in a discourse that is both full of wit and tenderness.

I’m not sure whether I love this book because of the way that Smith delivers the lectures or the selections of poetry and books she includes. In any case, this is one of the books that I will read again and again.

5* (out of 5*)