Top positive review
Innovative fiction lives!
Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2021
What a delight. Readers here found it irresistible to pick favorites of these stories and fault others, but I savored the variety, the unpredictibiity from one to the next, the formal innovations, stylistic and structural, suggesting an infinitude. Granted not every writer has the agility or interest in searching out forms for their own expressive potential, or has Smith's playfulness or wit. I sometimes think we've fallen into a dead-end conventionality in literature, a conviction that there's nothing left to be explored in the medium itself and its capacities. Zadie Smith is a wonderful reassurance here. Was never tempted to read "White Teeth" but am delighted so far with "On Beauty," hilarious but more conventional stylistically than these. With "Grand Union" she's one-stop-shopping for a revitalized Post-modernism, and I'm reassured for it. Try a sample or two. I hope she gives us more, if the short-story form invites this kind of invention. Only Lydia Davis had such versatility, that I can think of offhand, anyway. Brava!