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Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975, and continues to live both there and in New York, where she teaches on the Creative Writing programme at NYU.
White Teeth was first published in 2000 and won the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread Prize for a First Novel, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the WH Smith Book Award for New Talent, the Frankfurt eBook Award for Best Fiction Work Originally Published in 2000 and both the Commonwealth Writers First Book Award and Overall Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Zadie Smith's other novels are The Autograph Man and On Beauty, which was shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize 2005 and won The Orange Prize for Fiction 2006. She is also author of a collection of essays, Changing my Mind, and the editor of a book of short stories, The Book of Other People.
Her most recent novel is NW.
North West London comes vividly to life in NW , the new novel by the author of the bestselling White Teeth and Man Booker-shortlisted On Beauty . This is the story of a city. The north-west corner of a city. Here you'll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between. Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds. And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing a disruption in the whole system. Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell's door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation...Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is 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 town-dwellers everywhere - Zadie Smith's NW is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.
Shortlisted for the Best of the Orange Best 2010 by the Orange Prize Youth Panel. Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006. This review is provided by bookgroup.info.Fans of WHITE TEETH may be a bit disappointed with Zadie Smith’s latest novel. ON BEAUTY is not such a rollicking good read as her first book but what it lacks in pace it makes up for in characterisation and depth. The novel lays out its credentials from the first sentence: ‘One may as well begin with Jerome’s emails to his father.’ and goes on to draw much of its narrative from the plot of E M Forster’s HOWARD’S END. Smith’s story revolves, as does Forster’s, around two families who, although from a similar strata of society, have opposing political and moral viewpoints. Set mainly at Wellington, a fictitious Ivy League university, ON BEAUTY explores the rivalry between two art-historians: Howard Belsey – English, inclusive, liberal– and the ultra conservative, Christian, Monty Kipps. Despite being African American, Kipps refers to ‘the coloured man’ and wages a campaign on the campus against affirmative action. Inevitably, the two families get involved and the ensuing tensions provide great potential for high drama as well as comic situations. Some episodes are very funny indeed. Zadie Smith is very good at human relationships, family dynamics specifically, and some of her scenes are painfully convincing. By referring to Howard’s End, the author creates parallels and counterpoints between Edwardian England and the US east coast of the early twenty first century. Although, whereas Forster’s novel ends with the symbolic death of Leonard Blast under a pile of books, Howard’s ‘end’ in ON BEAUTY is not only a hugely optimistic redemption of his character but an affirmation of the value of love and beauty.This homage to Forster does beg comparison with someone who was a master of economy in his writing. In just a few spare subtle sentences he could illustrate the British class system in all its iniquity and complexity and it makes Smith seem a bit clunky and heavy-handed by contrast. That said, ON BEAUTY is a very accomplished novel, a good read and provides plenty to consider about love, fidelity, identity and the nature of beauty.The Lovereading view...Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006. Set on both sides of the Atlantic, award-winning Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
Winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006. Set on both sides of the Atlantic, award-winning Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.
Meet Maud: a guinea pig who inexplicably wears a judo suit - and not everyone understands or approves. When Maud is thrown into a new and confusing situation, it takes brave decisions and serendipitous encounters for her to find her place and embrace her individuality. The charming characters of Magenta Fox, whose work is evocative of Raymond Briggs and Janet Ahlberg, perfectly offset Zadie and Nick's warm, wry prose. Weirdo is an endearing story about the quiet power of being different by two veteran writers, and introduces an exciting debut illustrator. Together they have created a picture book that adults and children alike will treasure.
Penguin Readers is an ELT graded reader series for learners of English as a foreign language. With carefully adapted text, new illustrations and language learning exercises, the print edition also includes instructions to access supporting material online. Titles include popular classics, exciting contemporary fiction, and thought-provoking non-fiction, introducing language learners to bestselling authors and compelling content. The eight levels of Penguin Readers follow the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR). Exercises at the back of each Reader help language learners to practise grammar, vocabulary, and key exam skills. Before, during and after-reading questions test readers' story comprehension and develop vocabulary. Visit the Penguin Readers website Exclusively with the print edition, readers can unlock online resources including a digital book, audio edition, lesson plans and answer keys. White Teeth is the story of three very different families who live close together in London in the 1980s and 1990s. The Bowdens are part-Jamaican; the Iqbals are from Bangladesh; and the Chalfens are white. The story looks at how people's pasts affect their lives now, and the lives and futures of their children.
A treasure trove of outstanding stories from 'the best writer of our generation' (Gary Shteyngart) - the perfect gift for the Zadie Smith fan in your life 'She's already one of our best novelists and essayists, this reminds us that her short stories are right up there too' Observer 'Sexy and hilarious. There is no moment in Grand Union when we are not entertained, or doubt that we are in the company of one of our best contemporary writers' Guardian 'Brilliant. Another slam dunk. Street life, patois, music, food, clothes, hair: Smith has her finger on the pulse of life and the utter weirdness of whatever has just become normal. This is a book of and for the times, sobering in its clarity but bracingly witty and clever' Evening Standard 'Smith's dialogue crackles with mordant wit. This dazzling collection of stories will leave you with plenty to think about' Independent Interleaving ten completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie 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.
One of Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020 and an FT Best Book of the Year Thought-provoking and deeply consoling, a perfectly distilled set of essays on the strangest year many of us have experienced, from one of our wisest and most humane thinkers 'As well as offering a new guide to living in a wild, messy and unfair world, Smith provides a reminder that we can use this crisis to imagine a better one' Evening Standard Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of essays on the experience of lockdown, by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time From the critically acclaimed author of Feel Free, Swing Time, White Teeth and many more 'There will be many books written about the year 2020: historical, analytic, political and comprehensive accounts. This is not any of those - the year isn't half-way done. What I've tried to do is organize some of the feelings and thoughts that events, so far, have provoked in me, in those scraps of time the year itself has allowed. These are above all personal essays: small by definition, short by necessity.' Crafted with the sharp intelligence, wit and style that have won Zadie Smith millions of fans, and suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these unprecedented times, Intimations is a vital work of art, a gesture of connection and an act of love - an essential book in extraordinary times. 'Zadie Smith is a marvel - her soulfulness, her sensitivity, her ability to write . . . She doesn't try to make grand statements but just leaves you with the sense that you're in the company of someone who can help you feel things deeply' Tom Hollander in the Guardian
WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE From the acclaimed author of Swing Time, White Teeth and Grand Union, discover a brilliantly funny and deeply moving story about love and family Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? Set between New England and London, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family. 'Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed' Guardian
A new book on American artist Kara Walker and her Fall 2019 installation at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall The works of New York-based artist Kara Walker (b. 1969) have been featured prominently in exhibitions around the world since the mid-1990s. Walker is renowned for her candid explorations of race, gender, sexuality and violence, from drawings, prints, murals, shadow puppets, cut-paper silhouettes, and projections to large-scale sculptural installations, often referencing the history of slavery and the antebellum American South. Now, Walker is creating the latest Hyundai Commission in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. Documenting the work's creation, this book includes images of the work in process as well as the final installation. Walker introduces a personal selection of archival images and artworks that have influenced her during the genesis of this work. Essays by curator Clara Kim and a specially commissioned piece by the celebrated writer Zadie Smith offer fresh and intriguing insights into Walker's life and career.
WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR CRITICISM 2019 From the MAN BOOKER PRIZE- and WOMEN'S PRIZE-SHORTLISTED author of Changing My Mind and Swing Time - discover a second unmissable collection of essays from Zadie Smith 'Generous, courageous, and tough-minded... [A] classic English essayist in the vein of Orwell, Woolf and Angela Carter' Financial Times 'Engrossing, astute... Should you read this brilliant book? Absolutely' Independent 'Generous and curious' Evening Standard 'Brilliant, lively and frequently hilarious... She's one of the brightest minds in English literature today' NPR No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, from Jay-Z to Karl Ove Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity and the boundless wit to match. In Feel Free, pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment, dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion. This electrifying new collection showcases its author as a true literary powerhouse, demonstrating once again her credentials as an essential voice of her generation.
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Autograph Man by Zadie Smith, read by Ben Barnes. Zadie Smiths deeply funny, subversive and splendidly entertaining The Autograph Man is a whirlwind tour of celebrity and our fame-obsessed times. Following one Alex-Li Tandem - a twenty-something, Chinese-Jewish autograph dealer turned on by sex, drugs and organised religion - it takes in London and New York, love and death, fathers and sons, as Alex tries to discover how a piece of paper can bring him closer to his hearts desire. Exposing our misconceptions about our idols - about ourselves - Zadie Smith delivers a brilliant, unforgettable tale about who we are and what we really want to be. A glorious concoction written by our most beguiling and original prose-wizard Independent on Sunday A brilliant comedy with a tantalising throb of mystic philosophy underneath Philip Hensher, Books of the Year, Spectator A pleasure from the first page to the last Evening Standard Intellectually agile ... ecstatic inventiveness Time
Penguin presents the audiobook edition of White Teeth by Zadie Smith, read by Lenny Henry, Sagar Arya, Pippa Bennett-Warner and Ray Panthaki. Zadie Smiths White Teeth is a classic international bestseller and an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked about fictional debuts ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book. Funny, clever ... and a rollicking good read Independent An astonishingly assured dbut, funny and serious ... I was delighted Salman Rushdie The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages Julian Barnes, Guardian
Zadie Smith's dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith's voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read 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.
We live in a world of signs. But not everybody has to trade in them.... Alex-Li Tandem sells autographs. A small blip in a huge worldwide network of desire, his business is to hunt for names on paper, collect them, sell them, and occasionally fake themall to give the people what they want: a little piece of Fame. But what does Alex want? Only the return of his father, the reinstatement of some kind of all-powerful, benevolent God-type figure, the end of religion, something for his headache, three different girls, infinite grace, and the rare autograph of forties movie actress Kitty Alexander. With fries. The Autograph Man is a deeply funny existential tour around the hollow things of modernity: celebrity, cinema, and the ugly triumph of symbol over experience. Through London and then New York, searching for the only autograph that has ever mattered to him, Alex follows the paper trail while resisting the mystical lure of Kabbalah and Zen, and avoiding all collectors, con men, and interfering rabbis who would put themselves in his path. Pushing against the tide of his generation, Alex-Li is on his way to finding enlightenment, otherwise known as some part of himself that cannot be signed, celebrated, or sold.Cover title lettering by Leanne Shapton.
From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "e;It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore."e; Why do we love libraries? "e;Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay."e; What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "e;So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat."e;Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "e;Joy,"e; and, "e;Find Your Beach,"e; Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.
"e;Nicht nur Freundschaft, sondern die ganze verruckte, ungerechte Welt wird einem prazisen prufenden Blick unterzogen."e; New York Magazine.Beim Tanzunterricht lernen sich zwei kleine Madchen kennen und werden Freundinnen. Beide traumen davon, Tanzerinnen zu werden. Doch nur die eine hat Talent. Die andere hat Ideen: uber Rhythmus und Zeit, uber schwarze Haut und schwarze Musik, uber Stammeszugehorigkeit, Milieu, Bildung und Chancengleichheit. Als sich die beiden Mdchen zum ersten Mal begegnen, fhlen sie sich sofort zueinander hingezogen. Die gleiche Leidenschaft frs Tanzen und fr Musicals verbindet sie, doch auch derselbe Londoner Vorort und die Hautfarbe. Ihre Wege trennen sich, als Tracey tatschlich Tnzerin wird und erste Rollen in Musicals bekommt. Ihre Freundin wiederum jettet als Assistentin der berhmten Sngerin Aimee um die Welt. Als Aimee in Afrika eine Schule grnden will, reist sie ihr voraus und lsst sich durch das Land, in dem ihre Wurzeln liegen, verzaubern und aus dem Rhythmus bringen. Dieser grandiose Roman von Zadie Smith, der in den USA und in Grobritannien von Presse und Publikum gefeiert wird, erzhlt am Beispiel zweier Freundinnen vom Siegen und Scheitern, vom Beginnen und Enden. "e;Bewegend, lustig und wahrhaftig analysiert dieser Roman mit der Eleganz von Fred Astaire oder Michael Jackson Themen wie Hautfarbe und Weltpolitik."e; Kirkus Reviews
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017 'Smith's finest. Extraordinary, truly marvellous' Observer 'Superb' Financial Times 'Breathtaking' TLS 'Pitch-perfect' Daily Telegraph 'There is still no better chronicler of the modern British family than Zadie Smith' Telegraph SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2017 A dazzlingly exuberant novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of White Teeth, On Beauty and Grand Union Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, black bodies and black music, what it means to belong, what it means to be 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. Bursting with energy, rhythm and movement, Swing Time is Zadie Smith's most ambitious novel yet. It is a story about music and identity, race and class, those who follow the dance and those who lead it . . .
Chosen by the Guardian as one of the Best Books of the 21st Century From the MAN BOOKER PRIZE- and WOMEN'S PRIZE-SHORTLISTED author of Swing Time, On Beauty and Grand Union 'BELIEVE THE HYPE' The Times The international bestseller and modern classic of multicultural Britain - an unforgettable portrait of London One of the most talked about debut novels of all time, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book. 'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian 'Street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times 'Outstanding' Sunday Telegraph