1. It’s a concept novel. It’s the only novel I’ve ever written that has a plot, which is thrilling. I don’t know if I can do it. Those books are incredibly hard to write.

    — Zadie Smith on her upcoming science-fiction novel in the London Evening Standard. Yes, you read that correctly, and her quote made me laugh. I have never found her one for plot, and that has been her strength and weakness, IMO. (via cloudunbound)

  2. 

Smith, Zadie. NW. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9781594203978. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101595923. F
Relating the story of four people in North West London, Smith articulates important issues of race and class, but what matters most is her distinctive narrative voice. In numbered, run-on chapters that occasionally turn to aphorism, memo, and even poetry, Smith shows us how to write for the 21st century, when the online environment has changed our way of thinking, that makes other books sound ordinary. An aesthetic and emotional knockout. (LJ 9/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert


See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

    Smith, Zadie. NW. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). ISBN 9781594203978. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101595923. F

    Relating the story of four people in North West London, Smith articulates important issues of race and class, but what matters most is her distinctive narrative voice. In numbered, run-on chapters that occasionally turn to aphorism, memo, and even poetry, Smith shows us how to write for the 21st century, when the online environment has changed our way of thinking, that makes other books sound ordinary. An aesthetic and emotional knockout. (LJ 9/15/12)—Barbara Hoffert

    See all of Library Journal's Best Books 2012: Top Ten

  3. Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay. In the modern state there are very few sites where this is possible. The only others that come readily to my mind require belief in an omnipotent creator as a condition for membership. It would seem the most obvious thing in the world to say that the reason why the market is not an efficient solution to libraries is because the market has no use for a library. But it seems we need, right now, to keep re-stating the obvious. There aren’t many institutions left that fit so precisely Keynes’ definition of things that no one else but the state is willing to take on. Nor can the experience of library life be recreated online. It’s not just a matter of free books. A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.

    — Zadie Smith, in the New York Review of Books. (via thebronzemedal)

  4. thepenguinpress:

Zadie Smith is in the Penguin offices today to sign all of these. Did we mention we’ve earmarked five copies for a giveaway? Enter here.
And if you haven’t seen Zadie Smith’s interactive tour of London, we highly recommend it.

Trying with all my might not to lurk outside the Penguin offices on my lunch break. (It doesn’t help that they are only a couple blocks away.)

    thepenguinpress:

    Zadie Smith is in the Penguin offices today to sign all of these. Did we mention we’ve earmarked five copies for a giveaway? Enter here.

    And if you haven’t seen Zadie Smith’s interactive tour of London, we highly recommend it.

    Trying with all my might not to lurk outside the Penguin offices on my lunch break. (It doesn’t help that they are only a couple blocks away.)

  5. thepenguinpress:

Let Zadie Smith guide you on a tour of the real-life locations in NW.
We’ve been working on this for a while, and we’re very excited to share it with you.

This is really cool.

    thepenguinpress:

    Let Zadie Smith guide you on a tour of the real-life locations in NW.

    We’ve been working on this for a while, and we’re very excited to share it with you.

    This is really cool.

  6. pplteens:

Found in the teen library on 8/18/2012

    pplteens:

    Found in the teen library on 8/18/2012

  7. I grew up reading a generation of American and English people like [Saul] Bellow, [John] Updike or [Martin] Amis. Everybody’s neutral unless they’re black — then you hear about it: the black man, the black woman, the black person. Of course, if you happen to be black the world doesn’t look that way to you. I just wanted to try and create perhaps a sense of alienation and otherness in this person, the white reader, to remind them that they are not neutral to other people.

    — Zadie Smith, discussing how she never mentions the race of any of the characters in her new novel, NW, unless they are white. (via theraconteurasaurus)

    (Source: NPR)

  8. ZS: Well, I think it’s an enormous power and advantage women have, this understanding of time and mortality. It’s only a shame that we often do everything we can to abandon or deny this natural advantage. I always think of the menopause: what a gift it is to women to have, in their own bodies, this piece of time-keeping which allows them to fully understand, in their bodies, that death is coming. They’re not very good managers of time, men. Men don’t have that – you see so many men heading towards their deaths in utter shock and incomprehension because right until the final moments they thought they were going to be given some kind of reprieve.

    — 

    From the interview with Zadie Smith by Ted Hodgkinson in Granta. (via courtneymaum)

    Whoa, Zadie! Big thoughts.

  9. When we were children, you’d never imagine that you’d get into a right/left argument about the purpose and use of a library. It seems extraordinary to me[…] I really don’t find it a political argument. It’s about equality of opportunity. You know you don’t expect everyone to be as educated as everyone else or have the same achievements but you expect at least to be offered at least some of the opportunities and libraries are the most simple and the most open way to give people access to books.

    — Wise words from Zadie Smith  (via hostilities). Exceptionally appropriate on this, the publication day of her truly incredibly latest novel, NW.

  10. livefromthenypl:

We’re still not telling you yet who’s coming to LIVE this fall… but our talented multimedia intern, Jaeil, sketched this drawing of some of our upcoming guests! Can you guess who they are?
Check out more of Jaeil’s artwork here.

Hmm, I see Zadie Smith, Cheryl Strayed, and what looks like Kafka? I’m not sure how the necromancers at the New York Public Library were able to swing that last one.

    livefromthenypl:

    We’re still not telling you yet who’s coming to LIVE this fall… but our talented multimedia intern, Jaeil, sketched this drawing of some of our upcoming guests! Can you guess who they are?

    Check out more of Jaeil’s artwork here.

    Hmm, I see Zadie Smith, Cheryl Strayed, and what looks like Kafka? I’m not sure how the necromancers at the New York Public Library were able to swing that last one.

  11. The Millions has posted the opening lines from Zadie Smith's new novel NW →

  12. Listen to Zadie Smith read a Frank O'Hara poem, then cry.  →

  13. thepenguinpress:

Junot Diaz and Zadie Smith at BookExpo America. That’s a lot of talent in one photograph, wouldn’t you say? 

HOW DID I MISS THIS

    thepenguinpress:

    Junot Diaz and Zadie Smith at BookExpo America. That’s a lot of talent in one photograph, wouldn’t you say? 

    HOW DID I MISS THIS

  14. I don’t think the argument in favor of libraries is especially ideological or ethical. I would even agree with those who say it’s not especially logical. I think for most people it’s emotional. Not logos or ethos but pathos. This is not a denigration: emotion also has a place in public policy. We’re humans, not robots. The people protesting the closing of Kensal Rise Library love that library. They were open to any solution on the left or on the right if it meant keeping their library open. They were ready to Big Society the hell out of that place. A library is one of those social goods that matter to people of many different political attitudes. All that the friends of Kensal Rise and Willesden Library and similar services throughout the country are saying is: these places are important to us.

    — Zadie Smith, The North West London Blues (via nybooks)

  15. booksinthekitchen:

onthestrand:

The new novel.
Hamish Hamilton, September 6th 2012.

Hello!

Speaking of which—oh snap.

    booksinthekitchen:

    onthestrand:

    The new novel.

    Hamish Hamilton, September 6th 2012.

    Hello!

    Speaking of which—oh snap.