Alexis M. Smith

Alexis M. Smith’s writing has appeared in Tarpaulin SkyMossPortland ReviewBon AppétitThe Spokesman-Review and elsewhere. Her second novel, Marrow Island, is the winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and a Lambda Literary Award. She lives in Spokane, Washington.


  • Lyrical and luminous.

    —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

  • An Alaskan childhood and dreams of faraway cities such as Amsterdam inform Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers, a delicate debut novel set in Portland. . . . that reveals in short, memory-soaked postcards of prose a day in the life of twentysomething library worker Isabel.


  • This novella is a tribute to quiet, meaningful moments: a languid morning, an assessment in a mirror, a chance encounter. Glaciers is unhurried but precise; Glaciers is vast but expertly contained; Glaciers is perfect.


  • Delighted me the whole way through.

    —Maria Semple, New York Times Book Review

  • A spare, beautifully written first novel.

    —Library Journal

  • Truly beautiful and profound.

    —Parnassus Musing

  • Glaciers, Alexis Smith’s brilliant debut novel, is filled with kaleidoscopic pleasures. Using prose as clear as pure, cold air, Smith moves the narrative vertically as well as horizontally, each ticking minute yielding more insights into a young woman’s life revealed over one single day. The past, present, and imaginary future stream into beautifully unstable geometries: Isabel’s childhood snows from her youth in Alaska are juxtaposed against her adult trip to a vintage thrift store; her hopes for an evening party push against the echoes of war that haunt a young soldier whom she loves. Line by line, in and out of time, this is a haunted, joyful, beautiful book—a true gift.

    —Karen Russell

  • A delicate and piercing first novel. Glaciers is like a vintage dress: charming, understated and glinting with memories of loneliness and love.

    —Jane Mendelsohn

  • Alexis M. Smith’s Glaciers is a quietly powerful fairy tale. Smith’s voice, patient and understated and precise captures the poetry of loss and longing.

    —Cara Hoffman

  • Glaciers is a carefully precise and beautiful meditation on one young woman’s restless heart. It resonates like a haunting postcard from someone else’s life.

    —Kevin Sampsell

  • I cannot easily remember the last time I’ve been so deeply moved as in this quiet treasure.

    —Douglas A. Martin