Zadie Smith FRSL (born 25 October 1975) is a contemporary English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer. Her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), immediately became a best-seller and won a number of awards. Her most recent book is Feel Free (2018), a collection of essays. She has been a tenured professor in the Creative Writing faculty of New York University since September 2010.
Smith announcing the 2010 National Book Critics Circle award finalists in fiction
25 October 1975
Brent, London, England
|Alma mater||King's College, Cambridge|
Nick Laird (m. 2004)
Smith was born Sadie Smith in Willesden in the north-west London borough of Brent to a Jamaican mother, Yvonne Bailey, and an English father, Harvey Smith. At the age of 14, she changed her name to Zadie.
Smith's mother grew up in Jamaica, and emigrated to England in 1969. Smith's parents divorced when she was a teenager. She has a half-sister, a half-brother, and two younger brothers (one is the rapper and stand-up comedian Doc Brown, and the other is the rapper Luc Skyz). As a child, Smith was fond of tap dancing, and in her teenage years, she considered a career in musical theatre. While at university, Smith earned money as a jazz singer, and wanted to become a journalist. Despite earlier ambitions, literature emerged as her principal interest.
Smith attended the local state schools, Malorees Junior School and Hampstead Comprehensive School, and King's College, Cambridge, where she studied English literature. In an interview with The Guardian in 2000, Smith corrected a newspaper assertion that she left Cambridge with a double First. "Actually, I got a Third in my Part Ones", she said. She graduated with upper second-class honours.
Smith seems to have been rejected for a place in the Cambridge Footlights by the popular British comedy double act Mitchell and Webb, while all three were studying at Cambridge University in the 1990s.
At Cambridge, Smith published a number of short stories in a collection of new student writing called The Mays Anthology. They attracted the attention of a publisher, who offered her a contract for her first novel. Smith decided to contact a literary agent and was taken on by A. P. Watt. Smith returned to guest-edit the anthology in 2001.
Smith's début novel White Teeth was introduced to the publishing world in 1997, before it was completed. On the basis of a partial manuscript, an auction for the rights was begun; Hamish Hamilton won. Smith completed White Teeth during her final year at Cambridge. Published in 2000, the novel immediately became a best-seller. It was praised internationally and won a number of awards, among them the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Betty Trask Award. The novel was adapted for television in 2002. Smith served as writer-in-residence at the ICA in London and subsequently published, as editor, an anthology of sex writing, Piece of Flesh, as the culmination of this role.
In interviews, Smith reported that the hype surrounding her first novel had caused her to suffer briefly from writer's block. Nevertheless, her second novel, The Autograph Man, was published in 2002 and was a commercial success, although it was not as well received by critics as White Teeth.
After the publication of The Autograph Man, Smith visited the United States as a Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She started work on a still-unreleased book of essays, The Morality of the Novel (a.k.a. Fail Better), in which she considers a selection of 20th-century writers through the lens of moral philosophy. Some portions of this book presumably appear in the essay collection Changing My Mind, published in November 2009.
Smith's third novel, On Beauty, was published in September 2005. It is set largely in and around Greater Boston. It attracted more acclaim than The Autograph Man: it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.
Later in the same year, Smith published Martha and Hanwell, a book that pairs two short stories about two troubled characters, originally published in Granta and The New Yorker respectively. Penguin published Martha and Hanwell with a new introduction by the author as part of their pocket series to celebrate their 70th birthday. The first story, "Martha, Martha", deals with Smith's familiar themes of race and postcolonial identity, while "Hanwell in Hell" is about a man struggling to cope with the death of his wife. In December 2008 she guest-edited the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Smith's novel NW was published in 2012. It is set in the Kilburn area of north-west London, the title being a reference to the local postcode, NW6. NW was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Ondaatje Prize and the Women's Prize for Fiction. NW was made into a BBC television film directed by Saul Dibb and adapted by Rachel Bennette. Starring Nikki Amuka-Bird and Phoebe Fox, it was broadcast on BBC Two on 14 November 2016.
In 2015 it was announced that Smith, along with her husband Nick Laird, was writing the screenplay for a science fiction movie to be directed by French filmmaker Claire Denis. Smith later said that her involvement had been overstated and that she had simply helped to polish the English dialogue for the film.
Between March and October 2011, Smith was the monthly New Books reviewer for Harper's Magazine. She is also a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. In 2010, The Guardian newspaper asked Smith for her "10 rules for writing fiction". Among them she declared: "Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied."
Smith met Nick Laird at Cambridge University. They married in 2004 in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge. Smith dedicated On Beauty to "my dear Laird". She also uses his name in passing in White Teeth: "An' all the good-lookin' men, all the rides like your man Nicky Laird, they're all dead."
|"Now More Than Ever"||2018||23 July 2018||The New Yorker||"Now More Than Ever"|
|"The Lazy River "||2017||2017||The New Yorker|
|"Two Men Arrive in a Village"||2016||6 & 13 June 2016||The New Yorker||"Two Men Arrive in a Village"|
|"Escape From New York"||2015|
|"Big Week"||2014||The Paris Review||Smith, Zadie (2014). "Big Week". The Paris Review. Summer 2014 (209). ISSN 0031-2037. Retrieved 8 May 2018.|
|"Moonlit Landscape with Bridge"||2014||Smith, Zadie (10 February 2014). "Moonlit landscape with bridge". The New Yorker. 89 (48): 64–71.|
|"The Embassy of Cambodia"||2013|
|"Meet the President!"||2013|
|"Permission to Enter"||2012|
|"The Girl with Bangs"||2001|
|"The Waiter's Wife"||1999|
She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. In a 2004 BBC poll of cultural researchers, Smith was named among the top twenty most influential people in British culture.
In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors, and was also included in the 2013 list. She joined New York University's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor on 1 September 2010. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2006 and her novel White Teeth was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005.
Edward Aczel is a British stand-up comedian known for his "anti-comedy" style of clumsy delivery presenting as uninterested and lacking belief in both his material and performing skills.
His 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, "Do I Really Have to Communicate with You?", was described by Zadie Smith in The New Yorker as "one of the strangest, and finest, hours of live comedy I’d ever seen". James Kettle in The Guardian called him "perhaps Britain's greatest living anti-comedian".Winner of the 2008 Malcolm Hardee Award, he was the runner-up in the 2005 BBC New Comedy Awards and in Jimmy Carr’s Comedy Idol (which was filmed for the extras on Jimmy Carr’s 2005 live DVD).
His 2010 Edinburgh show featured in the BBC Comedy Collection.Embassy of Cambodia, London
The Embassy of Cambodia in London (officially the Royal Embassy of Cambodia) is the diplomatic mission of Cambodia in the United Kingdom. It is unusual in being so far from central London - indeed it is the northernmost of any embassy in the city - as well as for being located in a house on a suburban street. The embassy was formerly located at 28-32 Wellington Road, in St. John's Wood. (The same building also housed the Embassy of South Sudan at one time).
In 2013 British author Zadie Smith published a short story entitled The Embassy of Cambodia in The New Yorker magazine, which was later published in book format.Family saga
The family saga is a genre of literature which chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. In novels (or sometimes sequences of novels) with a serious intent, this is often a thematic device used to portray particular historical events, changes of social circumstances, or the ebb and flow of fortunes from a multitude of perspectives.
The word saga meaning saying, comes from the Icelandic language and refers to Old Norse and Icelandic family stories.
The typical family saga follows generations of a family through a period of history in a series of novels. A number of subgenres of the form exist such as the AGA saga.
Successful writers of popular family sagas include Susan Howatch, R. F. Delderfield and Philippa Carr.
Examples of family sagas of literary note include:
The Sagas of Icelanders - the medieval Icelandic family sagas whence the word 'saga' is derived;
Dream of the Red Chamber - one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature, it chronicles the rise and decline of the Jia family;
Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset;
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh;
Buddenbrooks, by Thomas Mann;
The Covenant, by James A. Michener;
Dune, by Frank Herbert;
The Tower and the Hive series by Anne McCaffrey, set in the universe of the "Pegasus" trilogy;
the Shannara cycle, by Terry Brooks;
A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight, by Henry Williamson;
The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy;
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende;
The Jalna books, by Mazo de la Roche;
The Kent Family Chronicles and The Crown Family Saga, by John Jakes;
Strangers and Brothers, by C. P. Snow;
The Immigrants, by Howard Fast;
The Mallens, by Catherine Cookson;
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez
Time and the Wind, by Erico Verissimo
The Palaeologian Dynasty. The Rise and Fall of Byzantium, by George Leonardos;
Roots, by Alex Haley;
The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough;
Holes, a novel by Louis Sachar;
The Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolò, Renaissance-set novel series by Dorothy Dunnett;
Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald;
Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides;
White Teeth, by Zadie Smith;
The Witcher, by Andrzej Sapkowski;
Captains and the Kings, by Taylor Cadwell;
Evergreen, by Belva Plain;
The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold;
The Emberverse series, by S. M. Stirling
Roma, by Steven SaylorFeel Free (Smith book)
Feel Free is a book of essays by Zadie Smith, published by Penguin Press in 2018. It has been described as "thoroughly resplendent" by Maria Popova, who writes: "Smith applies her formidable mind in language to subjects as varied as music, the connection between dancing and writing, climate change, Brexit, the nature of joy, and the confusions of personhood in the age of social media."Smith borrowed the title from Nick Laird, her husband, who has also published a collection of poems by the same name.Good Posture
Good Posture is a 2019 American comedy drama film, and the directorial debut of actress Dolly Wells, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars Emily Mortimer and Grace Van Patten. Wells and Mortimer had previously collaborated on the British sitcom Doll & Em, which they created, co-wrote, and starred in.
The film also stars Timm Sharp, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, John Early and Nat Wolff, with cameos from authors Zadie Smith, Martin Amis and Jonathan Ames.Hamish Hamilton
Hamish Hamilton Limited was a British book publishing house, founded in 1931 eponymously by the half-Scot half-American Jamie Hamilton (Hamish is the vocative form of the Gaelic Seumas [meaning James], James the English form – which was also his given name, and Jamie the diminutive form). Jamie Hamilton was often referred to as Hamish Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton Limited originally specialized in fiction, and was responsible for publishing a number of American authors in the United Kingdom, including Raymond Chandler, James Thurber, J.D. Salinger, E. B. White, and Truman Capote.
In 1939 Hamish Hamilton Law and Hamish Hamilton Medical were started but closed during the war. Hamish Hamilton was established in the literary district of Bloomsbury and went on to publish a large number of promising British and American authors, a large number of whom were personal friends and acquaintances of Jamie Hamilton.
During the late 1940s Hamish Hamilton Limited published authors including D. W. Brogan, Albert Camus, L. P. Hartley, Nancy Mitford, Alan Moorehead, Terence Rattigan, Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Simenon and A. J. P. Taylor.
Jamie Hamilton sold the firm to the Thomson Organisation in 1965, who resold it to Penguin Books in 1986. In 2013, Penguin merged with Random House, making Hamish Hamilton an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Hamish Hamilton’s aim remains to publish innovative literary fiction and non-fiction from around the world. Authors include: Alain de Botton, Esther Freud, Toby Litt, Redmond O'Hanlon, W. G. Sebald, Zadie Smith, William Sutcliffe, R. K. Narayan, Paul Theroux and John Updike.
Hamish Hamilton also publishes an online literary magazine called Five Dials.Hysterical realism
Hysterical realism, also called recherché postmodernism, is a term coined in 2000 by English critic James Wood to describe what he sees as a literary genre typified by a strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plotting, or characterization, on the one hand, and careful, detailed investigations of real, specific social phenomena on the other.
Wood introduced the term in an essay on Zadie Smith's White Teeth, which appeared in the July 24, 2000 issue of The New Republic. Wood uses the term to denote the contemporary conception of the "big, ambitious novel" that pursues "vitality at all costs" and consequently "knows a thousand things but does not know a single human being."
He decried the genre as an attempt to "turn fiction into social theory," and an attempt to tell readers "how the world works rather than how somebody felt about something." Wood points to Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon as the forefathers of the genre, which continues, Wood says, in writers like David Foster Wallace. In response, Zadie Smith described hysterical realism as a "painfully accurate term for the sort of overblown, manic prose to be found in novels like my own White Teeth and a few others [Wood] was sweet enough to mention". Smith qualified the term, though, explaining that "any collective term for a supposed literary movement is always too large a net, catching significant dolphins among so much cannable tuna".
Wood's line of argument echoes many common criticisms of postmodernist art generally. In particular, Wood's attacks on DeLillo and Pynchon clearly echo similar criticisms other critics had already lodged against them a generation earlier. The "hysterical" prose style is often paired with "realistic"—almost journalistic—effects, such as Pynchon's depiction of 18th century land surveys in Mason & Dixon, and Don DeLillo's treatment of Lee Harvey Oswald in Libra.Jean-Pol Fargeau
Jean-Pol Fargeau is a French screenwriter and frequent collaborator of director Claire Denis. With Denis, he co-wrote Chocolat (1988), Beau Travail (1999), and 35 Shots of Rum (2008) and Bastards (2013) among others. As of 2015, Fargeau and Denis are writing their first English-language film with novelist Zadie Smith and Smith's husband, novelist and poet Nick Laird; the film is a science-fiction piece set in space.Fargeau has also collaborated with fashion designer Agnès B. to write the 2014 film My Name is Hmmm.List of Jamaican British people
This is a list of notable Jamaican British people.
Diane Abbott, elected Labour Party MP to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since 1987
John Barnes (born 1963), retired footballer
Nigel Benn (born 1964), boxer
Frank Bruno (born 1961), retired professional boxer
Keisha Buchanan (born 1984), Sugababes founding member
Lady Colin Campbell (born 1949), author and socialite
Naomi Campbell (born 1970), model
Linford Christie (born 1960), retired sprinter
Chris Eubank (born 1966), retired professional boxer
Andrew Gourlay, conductor
Jackie Guy, dancer, choreographer and teacher
Naomie Harris (born 1976), Oscar-nominated actress, Moonlight, Spectre
David Haye (born 1980), boxer
Victor Headley, author
Lenny Henry, comedian
Dame Kelly Holmes (born 1970), middle distance runner and Olympic gold medallist
Paul Ince (born 1967), retired footballer
Colin Jackson (born 1967), retired hurdler
Lennox Lewis (born 1965) retired professional boxer
Devon Malcolm (born 1963), retired cricketer
Michael Page (born 1987), professional boxer and mixed martial artist; mother was from Jamaica
Frances Batty Shand (died 1885), early charitable activist
Jorja Smith (born 1997), singer
Zadie Smith (born 1975), author
Raheem Sterling, footballer
FKA Twigs (born 1988), singer-songwriter, producer, and dancer
Theo Walcott (born 1989), footballer for Everton FC
Dillian Whyte (born 1988), boxer
Ian Wright (born 1963), retired footballer
Luke Youngblood (born 1986), actor
Leigh-Anne Pinnock (born 1991), singer
Caron Wheeler singer, songwriterNW (novel)
NW is a 2012 novel by British author Zadie Smith. It takes its title from the NW postcode area in North-West London, the setting of the novel. The novel is experimental and follows four different characters living in London, shifting between first and third person, stream-of-consciousness, screenplay-style dialogue and other narrative techniques in an attempt to reflect the polyphonic nature of contemporary urban life. It was nominated for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction.On Beauty
On Beauty is a 2005 novel by British author Zadie Smith, loosely based on Howards End by E.M. Forster. The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American family living in the United States, addresses ethnic and cultural differences in both the USA and the UK, as well as the nature of beauty, and the clash between liberal and conservative academic values. It takes its title from an essay by Elaine Scarry—"On Beauty and Being Just". The Observer described the novel as a "transatlantic comic saga".The novel was shortlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize on 8 September 2005. Smith won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction and Orange Prize for Fiction in June 2006.Ornela Vorpsi
Ornela Vorpsi (3 August 1968, Tirana), is an Albanian writer and photographer. Vorpsi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, and has been living and working in Paris since 1997. In 2012 she was named one of the 35 best writers of Europe in Best European Fiction by Aleksander Hemon and Zadie Smith.Swing Time (novel)
Swing Time is a novel by British writer Zadie Smith, released in November 2016. The story takes place in London, New York and West Africa, and focuses on two girls who can tap dance.The Autograph Man
The Autograph Man, published in 2002, is the second novel by Zadie Smith. It follows the progress of a Jewish-Chinese Londoner named Alex-Li Tandem, who buys and sells autographs for a living and is obsessed with celebrities. Eventually, his obsession culminates in a meeting with the elusive American-Russian actress Kitty Alexander, a star from Hollywood's Golden Age. In 2003, the novel won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize. The novel was a commercial success, but was not as well received by readers and critics as her previous and first novel, White Teeth (2000). Smith has stated that before she started work on The Autograph Man she had writer's block.The Book of Other People
The Book of Other People is a collection of short stories, published in 2008 by Penguin Books. Selected and edited by Zadie Smith, it contains 23 short stories by 23 different authors, among them Nick Hornby, David Mitchell, Colm Tóibín, Jonathan Safran Foer, Dave Eggers, as well as Smith herself. The collection, as evidenced by the title, focuses on character; the authors were simply asked to "make somebody up". It being a "charity anthology," the contributors to The Book of Other People were not compensated for their writing, and the book's proceeds were given to 826NYC, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students with their creative writing skills.The Mays
The Mays Literary Anthology (or just The Mays) is an anthology of new writing by students from the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. In 1992, when Peter Ho Davies, Adrian Woolfson, and Ron Dimant came up with the original concept for the Mays, the publication was split into two separate anthologies; one devoted to prose and the other to poetry. In 2003 the Mays became a single publication.Each year, the Mays receives hundreds of submissions from students at Oxford and Cambridge. In 2006 the Mays received a record 1,100 entries. The Editorial Committee (composed of students from both universities) review the submissions during Lent Term.
The Mays is broader in scope than most university literary projects: it is sold in bookstores and by delivery nationwide; it is distributed to every major literary agent; and each year a guest editor — usually a prominent author, poet, or artist — writes an introduction to the anthology. Previous guest editors include: Margaret Drabble and Jon Stallworthy (1992), Michael Dibdin and Seamus Heaney (1993), Stephen Fry (1994), Ted Hughes (1995), Penelope Fitzgerald (1996), Christopher Reid and Jill Paton Walsh (1997), Sebastian Faulks and J.H. Prynne (1998), Penelope Lively and John Kinsella (1999), Paul Muldoon and Lawrence Norfolk (2000), Zadie Smith and Michael Donaghy (2001), Andrew Motion and Nick Cave (2002), Ali Smith (2003), Philip Pullman (2004), Robert Macfarlane (2005), Don Paterson and Jeanette Winterson (2006), Colm Toibin (2007), Ian Patterson (2008), Patti Smith (2009), Amit Chaudhuri, Tom Raworth (2010),, Jarvis Cocker (2011), John Darnielle, Tao Lin, Toby Litt (2012), Michael Frayn, David Harsent, Tom Phillips (2013), John Fuller, Paul Farley, Ben Okri, Prajwal Parajuly, Emma Chichester Clark and Alexander Gilkes (2014), Roger Mcgough and Rupi Kaur (2016).The Mays is often noted for launching the career of novelist Zadie Smith. Her work appears in two of the short story editions (1996 and 1997). Literary agencies first took notice of Smith after seeing her story "Mrs. Begum’s Son and the Private Tutor" in the 1997 collection. Smith guest edited the Mays in 2001. Her quip "maybe in a few years this lot will have me out of a job" has become a catch phrase for the publication.
The Mays is associated with Varsity Publications Ltd, which publishes Varsity. The cost of publication is funded in part by donations from various Oxford and Cambridge colleges.The Millions
The Millions is an online literary magazine created by C. Max Magee in 2003. It contains articles about literary topics and book reviews.
The Millions has several regular contributors as well as frequent guest appearances by literary notables, including Jeffrey Eugenides, Zadie Smith, Geoff Dyer, Susan Orlean, Jennifer Egan, Ben Marcus, Colum McCann, Chad Harbach, Deborah Eisenberg, Nathan Englander, Philip Levine, Alex Ross, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Banville, Lionel Shriver, Emma Donoghue, Fiona Maazel, Margaret Atwood, Sam Lipsyte, Aimee Bender, Keith Gessen, Lorin Stein, Michael Cunningham, Sigrid Nunez, Hari Kunzru, Jonathan Lethem, Joshua Ferris, William H. Gass, Dana Goodyear, David Shields, Rick Moody, Marco Roth, Rivka Galchen, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Elizabeth McCracken, Wells Tower, Helen DeWitt, Junot Diaz, Elif Batuman, Charles D'Ambrosio, Charles Finch, Garth Risk Hallberg, Lauren Groff, Meghan O'Rourke and George Saunders.The name was chosen as a play on Magee's name, Maximilian, and because Magee thought the site would be millions of interesting things.The Millions posted an open letter to the Swedish Academy in 2011 asking it to "stop the nonsense and give Philip Roth a Nobel Prize for Literature before he dies."White Teeth
White Teeth is a 2000 novel by the British author Zadie Smith. It focuses on the later lives of two wartime friends—the Bangladeshi Samad Iqbal and the Englishman Archie Jones—and their families in London. The novel is centred around Britain's relationships with people from formerly colonised countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.The book won multiple honours, including the 2000 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, the 2000 Whitbread Book Award in category best first novel, the Guardian First Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers First Book Prize, and the Betty Trask Award. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.Zadie
Zadie may refer to:
Zadie Department, Gabon
Zadie Smith (1975-), English novelist
The Groovy Girls doll line, by Manhattan toy, features a doll named Zadie.
Works by Zadie Smith