The website of


One of Britain’s most challenging and original novelists,” Times Literary Supplement


With extracts from the novels (although the text of China Dreams is

complete), journalism, short stories and poems




You can write to me via sid [at] sidsmith [dot] co [dot] uk


The Wikipedia entry


On BBC Radio 4

Writing novels about a place you haven’t been (from 8min in)

Writing novels is boring (from 16min 40sec in)


 I’m back writing novels again (despite the above R4 interview), hence the lack of updates here




Shorter ones   

Addition to “The Poem”; “An Old Man Looks at a Fountain”; Silence”; Addition to “Me without You”; “When I impersonate the old”; “John Masefield’s True Confession”; Addition to “Me without You”; Additions to “Brief”; “The Page”; “Home”; Addition to “Prisoner”; “Figged”; “Sonnets”; A Lancastrian’s Terror of Todmorden”; etc, etc


Longer ones

 “Age”; On a Birthday”; “A Very Hippy Christmas”


Sex Change at the London Hospital


Berlin Burned

War, pianos and strange sex with mirrors


Why We’re Not Bloody Moving to Bloody France

or, In the Chunnel, Arguing with the Missus





For when I’m not doing poems


In which we follow Lord Nelson’s (real-life) stepson through his (not-very-real) adventures. Think of it as Flashman goes to sea


Buy Nisbet and Trafalgar’
Read an extract here

Buy it here for £2.99


Buy Nisbet and Nelson’s Eye’

Nisbet’s first voyage and his first exposure to Nelson’s adulteries. Oh, and how did Nelson lose his eye?

Read an extract here

 Buy it here for £2.23



NOVELSSomething Like a House’


Extract from ‘ (Picador, 2001)

Whitbread First Novel Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize

This amazing, authoritative tale of a deserter in China – ‘the only round-eye in the Red Guards’ – stains the mind indelibly, like a beautiful, harrowing dream”: Books of the Year, Daily Telegraph



Extract from ‘A House by the River’ (Picador, 2003)

A poetic novel and a serious literary novel, but also an adventure story. The writing is wonderful, absolutely brilliant. There is no Whitbread Second Novel Award, but he would be up for it”: Tom Sutcliffe, BBC Radio 4



The full text of ‘China Dreams’ (Picador, 2007)

Introduction to ebook version of China Dreams

Plot summary cannot capture the strange beauty of this spare and intricately constructed novel”: The Guardian

A string of visions that could be taken from Chinese folklore, but have as many resonances with the Bacchae, or the cult of Cybele. These nightmares have all the authority of world myth … Smith has made something fierce, alternative and horribly real”: Daily Telegraph







The Hat’ 

Perry, Young and Old’

In The Mirror’


The Retiree’






Stuff that seems true






I’m a sub-editor at The Times and write the occasional piece for the paper. These days it’s behind a paywall, but if you have access you can search for my by-line, or here are some direct routes: My Japanese Wedding, a Historic Homes piece, another one, a shortie about British action novels and one on JP Donleavy’s The Ginger Man.






Random notes about novels I adore:

Is Stephen Maturin the best character in all literature? He’s the best I know.

Is his friendship with Jack Aubrey the best in all literature? It’s the best I know.”