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About Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations, and a collection of short stories, Grand Union.
White Teeth won multiple awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.
Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.
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At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.
“While quarantined amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith penned six dazzling, trenchant essays burrowing deep into our contemporary culture of disease and upheaval and reflecting on what was ‘once necessary’ that now ‘appears inessential . . .’” —O, The Oprah Magazine, Best Books of 2020
“Smith does more than illuminate what we're going through right now. She offers a model of how to think ourselves through a fraught historical moment without getting hysterical or sanctimonious, without losing our compassion or our appreciation for what's good in other people. She teaches us how to be better at being human.” —John Powers, Fresh Air
Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.
Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?
Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next.
The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.
"In this sharp, engaging satire, beauty's only skin-deep, but funny cuts to the bone." —Kirkus Reviews
Having hit bestseller lists from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle, this wise, hilarious novel reminds us why Zadie Smith has rocketed to literary stardom. On Beauty is the story of an interracial family living in the university town of Wellington, Massachusetts, whose misadventures in the culture wars—on both sides of the Atlantic—serve to skewer everything from family life to political correctness to the combustive collision between the personal and the political. Full of dead-on wit and relentlessly funny, this tour de force confirms Zadie Smith's reputation as a major literary talent.
“A sweeping meditation on art, race, and identity that may be [Smith’s] most ambitious work yet.” —Esquire
A New York Times bestseller • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction • Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
Zadie Smith's newest book, Grand Union, published in 2019.
“[NW] is that rare thing, a book that is radical and passionate and real.” —Anne Enright, The New York Times Book Review
“A triumph . . . As Smith threads together her characters' inner and outer worlds, every sentence sings.” —The Guardian
“A powerful portrait of class and identity in multicultural London.” —Entertainment Weekly
Set in northwest London, Zadie Smith’s brilliant tragicomic novel follows four locals—Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan—as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. In private houses and public parks, at work and at play, these Londoners inhabit a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end. Depicting the modern urban zone—familiar to city-dwellers everywhere—NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.
A dazzling collection of short fiction
Zadie Smith has established herself as one of the most iconic, critically respected, and popular writers of her generation. In her first short story collection, she combines her power of observation and her inimitable voice to mine the fraught and complex experience of life in the modern world. Interleaving eleven completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from The New Yorker and elsewhere, Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.
Nothing is off limits, and everything—when captured by Smith’s brilliant gaze—feels fresh and relevant. Perfectly paced and utterly original, Grand Union highlights the wonders Zadie Smith can do.
Split into five sections--Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering--Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays, some published here for the first time, reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing on Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani, or Zora Neale Hurston, she brings deft care to the art of criticism with a style both sympathetic and insightful. Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent, and funny--a gift to readers and writers both.
Un relato fresco y divertido de la Inglaterra moderna a través de la historia ferozmente ingeniosa de los inmigrantes en Inglaterra durante un período de cuarenta años.
Situado en un barrio londinense de inmigrantes, el inmenso fresco humano que dibuja la autora tiene como epicentro las familias de Archie Jones y Samad Iqbal, dos ex combatientes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial que vuelven a encontrarse después de treinta años sin verse. Archie está casado con una jamaicana exuberante y Samad con Alsana, bengalí como él, y con las ideas muy claras. Pero lo más preocupante no es estar casados con mujeres jóvenes de carácter endemoniado, ni la falta de dinero, ni las secuelas de la guerra; no, la prueba más dura es la relación con sus hijos, que a la hora de llevar a cabo los proyectos fracasados de sus padres se rebelan: se rebelan contra el racismo británico, contra su propia clase social, incluso contra su barrio, sus orígenes, y su historia. Así, cada uno a su manera, son la prueba viviente de lo difícil que resulta escapar de un destino trazado de antemano.
Sin duda uno de los autores jóvenes más destacados de la literatura anglosajona de los últimos años, la británica Zadie Smith asombró a la crítica y al público lector cuando, con apenas veintidós años, reveló en esta excepcional primera novela una inaudita capacidad para registrar las grandezas y miserias humanas con un ojo observador y distante, pleno de humor y sabia ironía. Galardonada con los premios Whitbread y Guardian, además de quedar finalista en todos los demás concursos literarios importantes de Gran Bretaña, Dientes blancos fue portada del New York Times y Le Monde y, por añadidura, ocupó los primeros puestos en las listas de libros más vendidos en ambas orillas del Atlántico.
La crítca ha dicho...
«Un debut que asombra por su consistencia, divertido y serio a la vez; la voz tiene auténtico timbre literario. Dientes blancos me encantó y me impresionó. Tiene garra.»
«Un prosa ácida, lujuriosa, eléctrica. Zadie Smith es una Dickens de la era postcolonial.»
«Un nuevo y gran talento. Un optimismo mordaz e irreverente sin ser frívolo, comprometido y entretenido a la vez.»
«Smith mantiene el tipo con una confianza y energía desbordantes, exentas de falsedad. Al acabar el día, hay motivos para alegrarse, y este elocuente y divertido libro es uno de ellos.»
The New York Times Book Review
«Una gran novela sobre grandes temas; un relato ingenioso, de aguda inteligencia y comicidad.»
«Aguda, fluorescente y polifacética, la novela de Smith recuerda a las obras de Rushdie: extremadamente contemporáneas y sin embargo imbuidas de contenido histórico.»
«Hilarante, poliédrica y, a la vez, sumamente inteligente, profunda y madura opera prima.»
«Dientes blancos es una novela ciertamente ambiciosa, nutrida de un potencial narrativo que denota un sorprendente poderío.
Originally published in 1930 and now back in print with an introduction by Zadie Smith, Black Manhattan traces the Black experience in New York City from its origins in the seventeenth century, through the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, to the triumphant achievements of the Harlem Renaissance. Written by one of the leading Black scholars and activists of the first half of the twentieth century, this timeless book also illuminates Black literature, theater, and music of the time, as well as raising important questions about Black people’s struggles to find their identity in America.
The Autograph Man is a deeply funny existential tour around the hollow trappings of modernity: celebrity, cinema, and the ugly triumph of symbol over experience. It offers further proof that Zadie Smith is one of the most staggeringly talented writers of her generation. Look for her new book Swing Time, coming November 2016.
The Book of Other People is about character. Twenty-five or so outstanding writers have been asked by Zadie Smith to make up a fictional character. By any measure, creating character is at the heart of the fictional enterprise, and this book concentrates on writers who share a talent for making something recognizably human out of words (and, in the case of the graphic novelists, pictures). But the purpose of the book is variety: straight "realism"-if such a thing exists-is not the point. There are as many ways to create character as there are writers, and this anthology features a rich assortment of exceptional examples.
The writers featured in The Book of Other People include:
Chris Ware, and more
Read Zadie Smith’s newest novel, Swing Time.