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Zadie Smith

On Beauty

Penguin Press

2006 Fiction

On Beauty
Zadie Smith was born in northwest London and continues to live in the area. Her first novel, White Teeth, was published in 2000 and won the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, was published in 2002 and received the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize and was short listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction.

On Beauty was recognized with the Orange Prize for Fiction and The Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section). In addition, the novel was short listed for the Man Booker Prize and was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2005. Smith is currently working on a book of essays on ethical thought in the 20th century fiction. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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Blog Posts about Zadie Smith

Anisfield-Wolf Authors Protest "Muslim Ban" In An Open Letter To President Trump

Sixty-six writers and artists – including seven Anisfield-Wolf recipients and two jury members – wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump asking him to desist from broadly banning travel to the United States by people from seven predominately Muslim countries. The letter, sponsored by PEN America, is timed to influence the president before he issues a second version of his original, sweeping travel ban, which is now stayed by the U.S. District Court of Appeals. “Preventing international artists from contributing to American... Read More →

A Literary President: Obama Reflects On The Books That Gave Him Stamina And Resolve

President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia shop at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., back in 2014. Official White House photo by Pete SouzaLate at night and through eight grueling years, literature helped sustain the outgoing president of the United States. In a wide-ranging interview with New York Times chief book critic Michiko Kakutani, Barack Obama reflected on the centrality of reading and the titles that have given him insight and solace, particularly in fiction.  He mentions just completing Colson Whitehead's "The... Read More →

Zadie Smith Talks Creativity At CWRU: "I Much Prefer Writing At This Age Than When I Was 24."

"Cleveland has always been incredibly nice to me," novelist Zadie Smith said as she took the podium at Case Western Reserve University. Her last visit to Northeast Ohio was back in 2006, when she was on hand to accept the Anisfield-Wolf prize for fiction for her third novel, On Beauty. This year, Smith was the first author to appear at Writers Center Stage, a literary series sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Public Library and Case Western Reserve University. Clad in a tan blazer and jeans, Smith began her talk, entitled, "Why Write... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Winners Both Attend And Object To The Brooklyn Book Festival

  Photo credit: Belem Destefani Brooklyn, N.Y. -- The Brooklyn Book Festival—a celebratory, cerebral, free event that runs one Sunday in September—attracted tens of thousands of readers, and this year, a spike of controversy. Anisfield-Wolf jurors Rita Dove and Joyce Carol Oates read from their work, soaking up warm applause, while two recent fiction winners—Junot Diaz and Kamila Shamsie—signed a petition calling on the festival to sever its support from Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “It is deeply regrettable that the... Read More →

Zadie Smith And Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Talk Race, Romance Novels And Beyonce At The Schomburg Center

Novelists Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – both Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners -- displayed a warm, comfortable familiarity on stage for their recent appearance at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Fresh off Adichie's National Book Critics Circle win for “Americanah,” her novel about “love, race and hair,” the conversation between the two literary lionesses veered from the amusing to the insightful. Watch the duo discuss Adichie's fascination with race and class, the absurdity of romance... Read More →

Zadie Smith Shares New Short Story In The New Yorker

We're always delighted to read a new piece from 2006 winner Zadie Smith's mind, as she is one of our favorite authors in the modern age. It's kind of blasphemous for us to declare we have a favorite (after all, isn't it like saying, out loud, that you have a favorite child?) but it's true that Zadie Smith is at the top of our list. (Don't worry, our list is very wide at the top.)  Her newest piece is an easy read in the New Yorker, called "The Embassy of Cambodia." Here's a sneak peek: Who would expect the Embassy of Cambodia? Nobody... Read More →

Zadie Smith's Novel Gets The Audio Book Club Treatment

Slate.com book editor Dan Kois, DoubleX editor Hanna Rosin, and Brow Beat editor David Haglund sat down for a Slate Audio Book Club podcast to discuss Zadie Smith's newest book, "NW," which was recently named one of the best books of 2012 by the New York Times.  Listen to the entire audio book club podcast here, where the editors discuss the "Google-ability" of the book and comparisons to Ulysses.  Read More →

VIDEO: Explore London Through Zadie Smith's Characters

Penguin USA has uploaded a few videos of in honor of Zadie Smith's new book NW. We thought you would enjoy.  Read More →

Zadie Smith On New Novel, NW: "I Feel That This Book Is The First Book I've Really Written As An Adult"

When Zadie Smith comes out with a new novel after a multiyear hiatus, it's news. Not just to the literary junkies who have devoured her earlier works, On Beauty, The Autograph Man, and White Teeth, but to folks who want to see if the "Zadie mania" is worth the hype.  And indeed it is. Her latest novel, NW, has received positive reviews from critics and casual readers alike.  She's been hitting the promotion trail hard to get this book to the top of the bestseller lists and a recent profile in Interview magazine (along with a stunning... Read More →

VIDEO: Zadie Smith Reads The Opening Lines Of Her Latest Book, "NW"

Have we worn you down? Has our incessant posting about Zadie Smith's latest novel sparked just enough curiosity for you to at least pick up the book next week and read a few pages in the bookstore? You could do that, or you could watch the video above and hear Zadie Smith read it for you.    Read More →

Read The First Two Chapters Of Zadie Smith's Latest Novel, NW, Before It Hits Stores

Penguin Press, Zadie Smith's publisher, is offering readers a sneak peek at her latest novel over on its Facebook page. We're not sure how long it will be available, so if you're interested, go read it today!  The reviews for NW are already trickling in and we really like this write-up from the Washington Post, even if it's not the typical glowing four-star review:  The Washington Post's Ron Charles writes: "You either submit to Smith’s eclectic style or you set this book aside in frustration. At times, reading “NW” is like... Read More →

One Quote Explains Why We Love Zadie Smith

The press keeps coming for Zadie Smith, as her latest book, NW, will be hitting bookshelves in September. An excerpt from her latest book appeared in The New Yorker recently and Smith gave an open and honest interview about her writing process and her desire to have characters that are diverse. But there was one quote in particular that made us pause: Every time I write a sentence I’m thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I’ve come to... Read More →

Huffington Post Reveals 50 Books Every African American Should Read - How Many AW Winners Made The List?

Gwendolyn Brooks Huffington Post's Black Voices rounded up 50 books the editors think every African American should read (they added on Twitter that of course the list has value to everyone, but these books focus primarily on the black experience in America). We were thrilled to see how many Anisfield-Wolf winners were on the list, proving to us once again that our winners stand out in the crowded literary field.  Gwendolyn Brooks "Annie Allen" (1949) Edwidge Danticat "Breath, Eyes, Memory" (1999) Chimamanda Adichie "Half Of A Yellow Sun... Read More →

Zadie Smith On Balancing Motherhood And A Writing Career

Anne-Marie Slaughter's "Why Women Can't Have It All" article has re-ignited the conversation about working mothers and their quest to obtain balance in all areas of their lives. Some argue that Slaughter's perspective (as a former State Department employee turned tenured Princeton professor) reeks of privilege, while others simply admit that she makes valid points about the difficulty of proving yourself both on the job and in your home.  The Wall Street Journal caught up with 2006 Anisfield-Wolf winner Zadie Smith at the Book Expo and... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Authors Hit The Stage At Book Expo 2012

Junot Díaz Some of our very own Anisfield-Wolf winners will be in attendance at the 2012 Book Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, June 5-7. The Book Expo is one of the largest events in the literary field, with authors, librarians, editors, and other industry professionals in attendance each year. Among the authors will be 2008 winner Junot Diaz and 2006 winner Zadie Smith. Click here for ticket information. Junot Diaz Tuesday, June 5Adult Book & Author Breakfast8:00 am – 9:30 am Special Events Hall   Zadie Smith  Thursday... Read More →

Will Zadie Smith's New Novel Live Up To Her Previous Works?

In the music industry, there is always a collective sigh of relief when an artist releases a work after an absence—and the work is as good as (or better than) their previous efforts. Same is true for authors. Zadie Smith has not released a novel since 2005's On Beauty and the literary world has been waiting for her return. In March it was announced that her fourth novel, titled NW, would be released in September. We dug around for a description and found what sounds like a great book:  From BlackBook:  "Somewhere in Northwest London... Read More →

Zadie Smith's 10 Rules For Writers (Take #7 To Heart!)

We enjoy a good list just as much as the next person, and even more so when it comes to advice for writers. We're an interesting bunch, full of quirks and idiosyncrasies, and doubts and fears and ambition. We devour information and try to spit out prose. So when we came across this bunch of tips from Zadie Smith, we decided that yes, we needed to share it with you.  From The Guardian:  When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else. When an adult, try to read your own work as a... Read More →

Get to Know...Zadie Smith

Each week, we’ll be helping you to get to know our winners better (what a great bunch they are) and highlighting the best of their work, interviews and essays. This week we'll be sharing the best of Zadie Smith with you, our 2006 winner for fiction.  We celebrated Zadie Smith's work in 2006 after the release of her third book, On Beauty. A powerful story about cultural differences and conservative values, On Beauty has also won the Orange Prize for Fiction. In the video below, Smith reads a section of her novel during the PEN World... Read More →

New Books From Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, and Zadie Smith

Junot Díaz Junot Diaz's short story collection This Is How You Lose Her will be published in September. It's Diaz's first book since his 2007 debut novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which, in addition to the 2008 Anisfield-Wolf award for fiction, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Critics Circle Award. {New York Times} It hasn't been officially confirmed but the rumor mill is buzzing that Zadie Smith's latest book will be released in September. No doubt fans of White Teeth and On Beauty are waiting anxiously. {Sarah... Read More →
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