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Tag Archives: Zadie Smith

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 Underground Railroad" and putting Maxine Hong Kingston's "The Woman Warrior" on the Kindle of his older daughter Malia. The conversation shows a deeply reflective man in the midst of shaping his second act. At 55, he leaves the White House a... 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? Creativity and Refusal." The title borrows from George Orwell's 1946 essay "Why I Write."  Smith, 38, told the audience that she appreciates the wisdom that comes with experience. "I much prefer writing at this age than when I was 24," she said. Her debut... 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 Festival has chosen to accept funding from the Israeli government just weeks after Israel’s bloody 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which left more than 2,100 Palestinians – including 500 children – dead,” asserts the petition, distributed... 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 novels, and Beyonce. 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. Nobody could have expected it, or be expecting it. It’s a surprise, to us all. The Embassy of Cambodia! Next door to the embassy is a health center. On the other side, a row of private residences, most of them belonging to wealthy Arabs (or so we, the... 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 photo of Ms. Smith) caught our eye. In it, she discusses the pressure of writing novels when your first (as a 22-year-old) is a smash success. If I'm honest with you, I feel that this book is the first book that I've really written as an adult," she... 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 running past a fence, catching only strips of light from the scene on the other side. Smith makes no accommodation for the distracted reader — or even the reader who demands a clear itinerary. But if you’re willing to let it work on you, to hear all... Read More →
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