In her first essay collection since 2009's Changing My Mind, Zadie Smith discusses good books, Billie Holiday, rap, Facebook, and why we love libraries. Smith is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books; these essays primarily appeared first in those publications. NPR says "reading Feel Free is a lot like hanging out with a friend who's just as at home in a museum as she is binge-watching a sitcom." Release date: February 6 2018.More info →
From the publisher: "Set in northwest London, Zadie Smith's brilliant tragicomic novel follows four locals—Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan—as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. In private houses and public parks, at work and at play, these Londoners inhabit 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 city-dwellers everywhere—<em>NW</em> is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself." <em>Booklist</em> says: "Smith draws on her deepening social and psychological acuity and her intimacy with North West London to portray a quartet of struggling men and women linked by blood, place, affinity, and chance."More info →
I've been intending to read a Zadie Smith novel since I heard her discuss her work at a conference more than a year ago. Her debut had critics comparing her to everyone from Dickens to Amis to Irving to Rushdie. From the publisher: "Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England's irrevocable transformation. 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."More info →
From the publisher: "A dazzling collection of short fiction. Zadie Smith has established herself as one of the most iconic, critically respected, and popular writers of her generation. In her first short story collection, she combines her power of observation and her inimitable voice to mine the fraught and complex experience of life in the modern world. Interleaving eleven completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from The New Yorker and elsewhere, Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction.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. Nothing is off limits, and everything—when captured by Smith’s brilliant gaze—feels fresh and relevant. Perfectly paced and utterly original, Grand Union highlights the wonders Zadie Smith can do."More info →
From the publisher: "An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North-West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time."More info →
Zadie Smith says about her novel: "My largest structural debt should be obvious to any E.M. Forster fan; suffice it to say he gave me a classy old frame, which I covered with new material as best I could." This won the Orange Prize for fiction, having hit bestseller lists along with her other novels White Teeth and Swing Time, this "wise, hilarious novel reminds us why Zadie Smith has rocketed to literary stardom." From the publisher: "On Beauty is the story of an interracial family living in a university town, whose misadventures in the culture wars-on both sides of the Atlantic-serve to skewer everything from family life to political correctness to the combustive collision between the personal and the political. Full of dead-on wit and relentlessly funny, this tour de force confirms Zadie Smith's reputation as a major literary talent."More info →