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 explains. “For a lot of people this would be their first novel. I’m 36. It happens that I wrote three books as a very young person….Your mid-thirties is a good time because you know a fair amount, you have some self-control. I knew my own mind a bit more. And I stopped trying to please people.”