Zadie Smith


Zadie Smith

Infobox Writer


imagesize = 150px
name = Zadie Smith
caption = Photo: BrooklynHeathen.com
pseudonym =
birthdate = October 25, 1975
birthplace = Brent, London, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist, essayist
nationality = English
period = 2000-present
genre =
subject =
movement = realism, postmodernism
influences = Vladimir Nabokov, E.M. Forster, Charles Dickens, P.G. Wodehouse, Martin Amis, Franz Kafka, Raymond Carver, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, Hanif Kureishi, David Foster Wallace, Zora Neale Hurston
influenced =


website =

Zadie Smith (born 25 October 1975) [http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,12084,1560999,00.html "Learning Curve," "The Guardian", 3 September 2005] is an English novelist. To date she has written three novels. In 2003, she was included on "Granta's" list of 20 best young authors.

Biography

Early life

Zadie Smith was born Sadie Smith in the northwest London borough of Brent – a largely working-class area – to a Jamaican mother, Yvonne McLean, and an English father, Harvey Smith. Her mother had grown up in Jamaica and immigrated to England in 1969. It was her father's second marriage. She has a half-sister, a half-brother, and two younger brothers, one of whom is the rapper Doc Brown. Her parents divorced when she was a teenager.

As a child she was fond of tap dancing; as a teenager she considered a career as an actress in musical theatre; and as a university student she earned money as a jazz singer and wanted to become a journalist. Literature, however, came to be her principal interest. When she was 14, she changed her name to "Zadie."

Education and career

Smith attended the local state schools, Malorees Junior School and Hampstead Comprehensive School, and King's College, Cambridge University where she studied English literature. [ [http://www.granta.com/Contributors/Zadie-Smith Zadie Smith, Granta] ] In an interview with the Guardian in 2000, Smith was keen to correct a recent newspaper assertion that she left Cambridge with a double First. "Actually, I got a Third in my Part Ones", she said. At Cambridge she published a number of short stories in a collection of student writing (see Short stories) called the "May Anthologies". These 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 the Wylie Agency on the basis of little more than a first chapter.

"White Teeth" was introduced to the publishing world in 1997, long before it was completed. On the basis of a partial script an auction among different publishers for the rights started, with Hamish Hamilton being successful. Smith completed "White Teeth" during her final year at Cambridge. Published in 2000, the novel became a bestseller immediately. It was praised internationally and won a number of awards (see Novels).

In interviews she reported that the hype surrounding her first novel had caused her to suffer a short spell of writer's block. Nevertheless, her second novel, "The Autograph Man", was published in 2002 and was a commercial success, although the critical response was not as unanimously positive as it had been to "White Teeth".

After the publication of "The Autograph Man", Smith visited the United States as a 2002–2003 Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellow at Harvard University. [ [http://www.radcliffe.edu/fellowships/fellows_1004.aspx 2002-2003 Radcliffe Institute Fellows] ] She started work on a book of essays, "The Morality of the Novel", in which she considers a selection of 20th century writers through the lens of moral philosophy.

Her third novel, "On Beauty", was published in September 2005 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The book won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Private life

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." The couple live in Monti (rione of Rome), Rome, Italy.

Works

hort stories

*"Mirrored Box" in "The May Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge Short Stories" (1995)
*"The Newspaper Man" in "The May Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge Short Stories" (1996)
*"Mrs. Begum's Son and the Private Tutor" in "The May Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge Short Stories" (1997)
*"Picnic, Lightning" in "The May Anthology of Oxford and Cambridge Short Stories" (1997)
* [http://www.newyorker.com/archive/1999/12/27/1999_12_27_060_TNY_LIBRY_000019888 "Stuart"] in "The New Yorker" Winter Fiction Issue 1999.
*"The Girl with Bangs" in "Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern", Issue 6, 2001.
*"The Trials of Finch" in "The New Yorker" Winter Fiction Issue 2002.
* [http://www.granta.com/Magazine/81 "Martha, Martha"] in "Granta" 81: Best of Young British Novelists (2003)
* [http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2004/09/27/040927fi_fiction "Hanwell in Hell"] in "The New Yorker" 27 September, 2004.
* [http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2007/05/14/070514fi_fiction_smith "Handwell Snr"] in "The New Yorker" 14 May, 2007; collected in "The Book of Other People" (2007)

Novels

*"White Teeth" (2000)
*"The Autograph Man" (2002)
*"On Beauty" (2005)

Edited Collections

*"Piece of Flesh" (2001), an anthology of erotic short stories featuring Daren King, Toby Litt and Matt Thorne.
*"The Book of Other People" (2007)

Non-Fiction

* [http://www.eyeshot.net/zadiesmith.html "On the Road: American Writers and Their Hair"] , essay written to be read aloud at Neal Pollack's Timothy McSweeney's Festival of Literature, Theater, and Music, 2001.
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,903742,00.html "We proceed in Iraq as hypocrites and cowards - and the world knows it"] in "The Guardian", 27 February 2003.
* [http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,4120,988671,00.html "The divine Ms H"] in "The Guardian", 1 July 2003, an essay on Katharine Hepburn.
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050115190712/http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031103&s=smith110303&c=1&pt=tSF4JHYwozRDLhDAkawdvu%3d%3d "The Limited Circle is Pure"] in "The New Republic", 3 November 2003, an essay on Franz Kafka for a 2005 reissue of "The Trial", for which she also wrote a foreword.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,12084,1074217,00.html "Love, Actually"] in "The Guardian", 1 November 2003, an essay on E. M. Forster, based on her lecture at the Gielgud Theatre in London on 22 October 2003.Fact|date=June 2008
* [http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/040614fa_fact3 "You Are In Paradise"] in "The New Yorker", 14 June 2004, essay on holidays.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,12084,1306236,00.html "Shades of Greene"] in "The Guardian", 18 September 2004, introduction to the centenary edition of "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene.
* [http://www.vibe.com/news/magazine_features/2005/01/cover_story_zen_eminem/ "The Zen of Eminem"] in "VIBE" 2005, an essay on the rap star Eminem.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/poetry/features/0,,1429824,00.html "We are family"] in "The Guardian", 4 March 2005, an interview by Zadie Smith with her brother Doc Brown.
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5286007-110428,00.html "Nature's Work of Art"] in "The Guardian", 15 September 2005, an essay on Greta Garbo.
* "Fail better" in "The Guardian", 13 January 2007, an essay on writing.
* "What does soulful mean?" in "The Guardian", 1 September 2007, an essay on Hurston's "Their Eyes Were Watching God".
* "F. Kafka, Everyman" in "The New York Review of Books", 17 July 2008, a review of "The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head: Franz Kafka: A Biographical Essay", by Louis Begley.
*"Fail Better" (forthcoming, 2009), a collection of essays on writing.

Notes

References

* Walters, Tracey (Ed.). " [http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?vID=68806&vLang=E&vHR=1&vUR=2&vUUR=1 Zadie Smith: Critical Essays] ." New York: Peter Lang Publications, 2008.

External links

* [http://archive.salon.com/books/feature/2000/04/28/zadie_profile/index.html "Girl Wonder"] on Salon.com (2000).
* [http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0538,bpress1,67959,10.html "Only Connect"] , an interview with Zadie Smith by Joy Press of the Village Voice.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/generalfiction/story/0,,122817,00.html She's young, black, British - and the first publishing sensation of the millennium] , an interview with the Guardian.
* [http://www.magazine.org/content/Files/Mason.October.pdf "White Knees"] , an essay on Smith's body of work by Wyatt Mason in the October 2005 issue of Harper's Magazine.
* [http://books.guardian.co.uk/hay/page/0,14635,1228540,00.html A doodle by Smith from "The Guardian" Hay festival 2004]


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