Books

Swing Time

Zadie Smith

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

Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either...

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.


Praise for Zadie Smith:

'Smith is the most naturally gifted young novelist around - with a fastidious ear for dialogue and a lethally quiet comic touch. Above all, she can move us' Times Literary Supplement

'[Smith] packs more intelligence, humour and sheer energy into any given scene than anyone else of her generation' Sunday Telegraph

'Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens's legitimate daughter' Independent on NW

'Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy. [Zadie Smith] is up there with the best around' Evening Standard on NW

'Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year' Daily Telegraph on NW

'Exceptionally accomplished... Smith displays a remarkable talent for embracing all the possibilities of language, and time and again she produces images that shout out in their brilliance... An outstanding novelist' Observer on On Beauty

'Like Forster, Smith possesses a captivating authorial voice - at once authoritative and nonchalant, and capacious enough to accommodate high moral seriousness, laid-back humour and virtually everything in-between' New York Times on On Beauty

The Embassy of Cambodia

Zadie Smith

Revisiting the terrain of her acclaimed novel NW, The Embassy of Cambodia is another remarkable work of fiction from Zadie Smith.

'The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world -- in its dramatic as well as its quiet times -- we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming . . . '

First published in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and brilliant story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another.

Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, north-west London, Zadie Smith's absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions.

'Its range is lightly immense... a fiction of consequences both global and heart-rendingly intimate' Guardian

'Smith serves up a smasher' Independent

Playful... unexpected and absolutely right... Skips to a beat all of its own' Times

Praise for NW:

'A triumph . . .modern London is explored in a dazzling portrait . . . every sentence sings' Guardian

'Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph

'Absolutely brilliant . . . So electrically authentic, it reads like surveillance transcripts' Lev Grossman, TIME

NW

Zadie Smith

Coming soon as a BBC2 drama adaptation -- a masterful novel about London life from the bestselling, prize-winning Zadie Smith.

Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic NW follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel. A portrait of modern urban life, NW is funny, sad and urgent - as brimming with vitality as the city itself.

Praise for NW:

'Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens's legitimate daughter' Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Astonishing, dazzling. Really - without exaggeration - not since Dickens has there been a better observer of London scenes. Zadie Smith is a genius. It's hard to imagine a better novel this year - or this decade' A.N. Wilson

'Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph

'Absolutely brilliant. So electrically authentic' TIME

'Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy, like London. She's up there with the best around' Evening Standard

'Marvellous . . . crackles with reflections on race, music and migration. A lyrical fiction for our times' Spectator

'Undeniably brilliant . . . rush out and buy this book' Observer

Stop What You're Doing And Read This!

Mark Haddon (and others)

In any 24 hours there might be sleeping, eating, kids, parents, friends, lovers, work, school, travel, deadlines, emails, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, the news, the TV, Playstation, music, movies, sport, responsibilities, passions, desires, dreams.

Why should you stop what you're doing and read a book?

People have always needed stories. We need literature - novels, poetry - because we need to make sense of our lives, test our depths, understand our joys and discover what humans are capable of. Great books can provide companionship when we are lonely or peacefulness in the midst of an overcrowded daily life. Reading provides a unique kind of pleasure and no-one should live without it.

In the ten essays in this book some of our finest authors and passionate advocates from the worlds of science, publishing, technology and social enterprise tell us about the experience of reading, why access to books should never be taken forgranted, how reading transforms our brains, and how literature can save lives. In any 24 hours there are so many demands on your time and attention - make books one of them.

Carmen Callil Tim Parks
Nicholas Carr Michael Rosen
Jane Davis Zadie Smith
Mark Haddon Jeanette Winterson
Blake Morrison Dr Maryanne Wolf & Dr Mirit Barzillai

Changing My Mind

Zadie Smith

Changing My Mind is a collection of essays by Zadie Smith on literature, cinema, art - and everything in between.


'A supremely good read. Smith writes about reading and writing with such infectious zeal and engaging accessibility that it makes you want to turn up at her house and demand tutoring' Dazed and Confused

'Alarmingly good' Metro

'Striding with open hearted zest and eloquence between fiction (from EM Forster to David Foster Wallace) and travel, movies and comedy, family and community in a self-portrait that charts the evolution of a formidable talent. In lovely elegiac pieces on her late father Harvey, D-Day veteran and Tony Hancock fan, Smith also delivers some of the most affecting autobiographical writing in any form' Independent, Books of the Year

'Brilliant. She's friendly and conspiratorial, voicing the kind of clever theories we could imagine ourselves holding if only we were as articulate as Zadie Smith' Vogue

'Fascinating. Smith has the gift of showing you how she reads and thinks; watching her do it makes you feel smarter and more observant. Her account of her struggles as an author may be the most authentic, unglamorous description of novel-writing ever put on paper' Time

The Book of Other People

Zadie Smith

The Book of Other People is just that: a book of other people. Open its covers and you’ll make a whole host of new acquaintances. Nick Hornby and Posy Simmonds present the ever-diverging writing life of Jamie Johnson; Hari Kunzru twitches open his net curtains to reveal the irrepressible Magda Mandela (at 4:30a.m., in her lime-green thong); Jonathan Safran Foer's Grandmother offers cookies to sweeten the tale of her heart scan; and Dave Eggers, George Saunders, David Mitchell, Colm Tóibín, A.M. Homes, Chris Ware and many more each have someone to introduce to you, too.

With an introduction by Zadie Smith and brand-new stories from over twenty of the best writers of their generation from both sides of the Atlantic, The Book of Other People is as dazzling and inventive as its authors, and as vivid and wide-ranging as its characters.

On Beauty

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith's On Beauty is a funny, powerful and moving story about love and family

Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful?

Set in New England mainly and London partly, On Beauty concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family.

'The novel I didn't want to finish, I was enjoying it so much' John Sutherland, Evening Standard

'Thrums with intellectual sass and know-how' Literary Review

'Delightfully entertaining . . . filled with humour, generosity and contemporary sparkle' Alex Clark, Daily Telegraph

'My novel of the year . . . Delicious' Liz Jones, Evening Standard

'Satirical, wise and sexy' Washington Post

'Heartstopping' The Times Literary Supplement

'A triumph, Smith's comedy shines' Daily Mail

'Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed' Guardian

The Autograph Man

Zadie Smith

The Autograph Man is Zadie Smith's whirlwind tour of celebrity and our fame-obsessed times.

Following one Alex-Li Tandem - a twenty-something, Chinese-Jewish autograph dealer turned on by sex, drugs and organised religion - it takes in London and New York, love and death, fathers and sons, as Alex tries to discover how a piece of paper can bring him closer to his heart's desire. Exposing our misconceptions about our idols - about ourselves - Zadie Smith delivers a brilliant, unforgettable tale about who we are and what we really want to be.

'A glorious concoction written by our most beguiling and original prose-wizard' Independent on Sunday

'A brilliant comedy with a tantalising throb of mystic philosophy underneath' Philip Hensher, Books of the Year, Spectator

'A pleasure from the first page to the last' Evening Standard

'Intellectually agile ... ecstatic inventiveness' Time

'A classic' Spectator

'Genuinely funny and entertaining' Guardian

'Vibrant, highly imaginative' Jewish Chronicle

'Full of irony, humour, the search for love and the fear of death . . . a touching, thoughtful, deeply felt rite-of-passage novel' Sunday Telegraph

White Teeth

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith's White Teeth is a classic international bestseller and an unforgettable portrait of London

One of the most talked about fictional debuts ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

'Funny, clever ... and a rollicking good read' Independent

'An astonishingly assured début, funny and serious ... I was delighted' Salman Rushdie

'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian

'Quirky, sassy and wise ... a big, splashy, populous production reminiscent of books by Dickens and Salman Rushdie ... demonstrates both an instinctive storytelling talent and a fully fashioned voice that's street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times

'Smith writes like an old hand, and, sometimes, like a dream' New Yorker

'Outstanding ... A strikingly clever and funny book with a passion for ideas, for language and for the rich tragic-comedy of life' Sunday Telegraph

'Do believe the hype' The Times

'Relentlessly funny ... idiosyncratic, and deeply felt' Guardian

White Teeth

Zadie Smith

Published in the first month of the first year of the new century, Zadie Smith's debut novel White Teeth - winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Whitbread First Novel Award - was an immediate bestseller and stunningly acclaimed.

One of the most talked about fictional débuts of ever, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

'Funny, clever ... and a rollicking good read' Independent

'An astonishingly assured début, funny and serious ... I was delighted' Salman Rushdie

'The almost preposterous talent was clear from the first pages' Julian Barnes, Guardian

'Quirky, sassy and wise ... a big, splashy, populous production reminiscent of books by Dickens and Salman Rushdie ... demonstrates both an instinctive storytelling talent and a fully fashioned voice that's street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time' New York Times

'Smith writes like an old hand, and, sometimes, like a dream' New Yorker

'Outstanding ... A strikingly clever and funny book with a passion for ideas, for language and for the rich tragic-comedy of life' Sunday Telegraph

'Do believe the hype' The Times

'Relentlessly funny ... idiosyncratic, and deeply felt' Guardian

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. Her debut novel, White Teeth, won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Prize, and was included in TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. Her second novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has written two further novels, The Autograph Man and NW, a collection of essays Changing My Mind, and also edited short story anthology The Book of Other People. Zadie Smith was chosen by Granta as one of its twenty best young British novelists in 2003, and as well as to Granta has contributed writing to the New Yorker and the Guardian.

Zadie Smith's new novel, NW, is available from September 2012.

Zadie Smith

Biography

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels White Teeth,The Autograph ManOn Beauty and NW, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Fiction 2013. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and lives in London and New York with her husband and two children. In 2016 she will publish her next novel, Swing Time.