Ali was born in 1962 in Inverness. She studied for her degree at the University of Aberdeen. She completed her PhD "on the importance of the ordinary in modernist literature" in Cambridge. Smith taught in Glasgow, at the University of Strathclyde, for a couple of years, but disliked teaching.
Interviews[edit | edit source]
"[At] the age of 27, she developed chronic fatigue syndrome, from which it took her many months to recover." “I got quite ill; I had a bout of chronic fatigue syndrome. It was like I'd hit a wall, so I waited quietly to see what would happen next. I had it very lightly – people have it much more harshly than I had it - but the 'lightly' I had it was horrible. I was pretty out of it for a year and a half.” About cycling, she stated: “For me it was fantastically practically useful, because Cambridge is flat. If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome it's quite hard to walk, but cycling is easier because it uses one third of the amount of energy that walking does. All of a sudden I was mobile again and it was just blessed relief.”