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Zadie Smith Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

White Teeth (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Autograph Man (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On Beauty (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
NW (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Swing Time (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Embassy of Cambodia (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Feel Free (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Zadie Smith is an English author born in 1975. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Zadie has been voted one of the most influential people in Britain, at least with regards to popular culture.

+Biography

Zadie Smith’s mother is a Jamaican woman called Yvonne Bailey. Her father, Harvey Smith, is English. By the time her mother came to England in 1969, her father had already been married once.

Born in Brent, a northwest London borough, Zadie had an unexpected interest in tap dancing when she was young. Her love for the arts only grew with time, Zadie taking an interest in musical theater and eventually taking to jazz as a singer to earn money while she was at university.

Most of Zadie’s education came from local state schools like Hampstead and Malorees. She eventually went on to study English Literature at Cambridge. It was while she was at Cambridge that Zadie’s career began to take off.

Zadie wrote a number of impressive short stories that garnered the interest of a publisher who offered her a contract. Zadie began to search for a literary agent as a result, eventually landing at A.P. Watt.

+Literary Career

White Teeth garnered attention from the publishing industry before Zadie Smith even finished it. At the time, she only had a partial manuscript when an auction drew interest towards her work, with Hamish Hamilton making the winning bid.

The manuscript finally came together during Zadie’s last year at Cambridge. It hit the shelves in 2000 and immediately dominated the bestseller list. With the book receiving so much praise from critics all over the world, Zadie admitted that the quick success led her to struggle with writer’s block.

None the less, she went on to write several critically acclaimed books, quickly garnering attention as a young author that, everyone agreed, was destined to set the publishing industry on fire.

The author had the opportunity to teach at Columbia University School of Arts before receiving tenure as a professor of fiction at New York University.

Zadie Smith is married to Nick Laird. The two met while she was at Cambridge University. They have two children.

Zadie Smith has been commended for writing books that are very relevant to the times.

+Zadie Smith Movies

Zadie Smith’s first book, White Teeth, was adapted into a multi-ethnic social comedy. Released in 2002 on Channel 4, the story of White Teeth was told over four heavy episodes

Her 2012 book, NW, was also adapted into a ninety-minute movie that was released in 2016. The BBC movie was directed by Saul Dibb.

+White Teeth

Archie Jones decides to call it quits on New Year’s morning in 1975. With a failed marriage under his belt, Archie is sitting in his car on a London road, betting his life on the flip of a coin.

The flip of a coin that the owner of a butcher shop nearby interrupts, giving Archie another chance at life. Readers are treated to an intimate story about Archie and his best friend, Samad Iqbal.

Archie and the Muslim Bengal have been friends since serving in the Second World War. Archie has always been the most typical of the two, this until he marries Clara, a young beautiful, toothless Jamaican woman.

Samad, on the other hand, weds the feisty Alsana in a prearranged marriage. Zadie’s story compares and contrasts Archie and Samad’s families, giving as much life to the locations as the characters.

White Teeth tells a very expansive story and Zadie injects so much detail into the book. There is a social message that slowly blossoms throughout the novel’s run, with Zadie working to tackle social perceptions of sex and culture.

Zadie especially excels when it comes to the dialogue. The conversations that pepper her book accentuate the pacing of her story. Some people will appreciate the fact that Zadie Smith doesn’t attempt to bring any one worldview across, instead working to explore and even dismiss the different worldviews held by people.

Others will find that approach a little annoying. One complaint about this book that keeps rising is Zadie’s inability to make her characters sympathetic enough for people to care about. This more or less explains the one-star ratings that often surround this book. People prefer reading books with characters they can root for; and despite all the characters in her book, not one of Zadie Smith’s creations is particularly sympathetic.

+On Beauty

Howard Belsey is an Englishman who married his wife Kiki at a very young age. Now, he is struggling to revive the spark of love that once brought them together. Meanwhile, his children struggle with complications of their own even as they endeavor to understand their own passions and ideals.

Zadie Smith writes a lot of terrible human beings in this book, though readers continue to debate the personalities and likability of some of the characters. From obnoxious teens to stuffy professors and irritating rich kids, the cast is very diverse.

However, one would be hard-pressed to find a sympathetic character in this book. But that is Zadie’s typical approach. She rarely writes likable characters, and that is what sets her books apart, forcing readers to focus on the message within her work rather than blindly following one or two charming protagonists.

A lot of the plotlines in the book appear a little too disparate. While some readers seem to appreciate the manner in which Zadie draws them together, others seem to think that the conclusion was a little forced.

Zadie’s writing style is definitely unique. There is an extra layer of meaning beneath Zadie’s words that some people will love but others will despise. Some critics have suggested that Zadie writes characters that are so human they make people uncomfortable.

Her characters force people to face their selfish desires, mirroring the ideals that so many readers hide. That might explain why some readers seem to think that this book is exceptional while others can barely get through the first few chapters.

What everyone agrees on is the fact that the book is very relevant to the world today, manifesting the complexities of society and the foibles that every single individual struggles with.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Zadie Smith