Changing My Mind
Spotlights have been shining on English writer Zadie Smith ever since White Teeth, her debut novel, generated a publishers' bidding war when she was still in her mid-twenties. In the years since, things have not darkened: In 2003, she earned herself a spot on Granta's list of the twenty best young writers and both her fiction and nonfiction continue to garner attention. Th...more
For my money—and that’s Canadian money, so beware: it’ll fuck up your gumball machine—Changing My Mind is notable for three pieces: "Brief Interviews with Hideous Men", a tribute to David Foster Wallace that’s so astute and generous that it’d almost be worth dying if ...more
So there it is: Zadie Smith ties the brooding Karl Ove Knausgaard for Biggest Literary Obsession of 2013.
Why I have waited this long before getting to her work is a little baffling to me but she has been a force in my intellectual and imaginary landscape for some weeks now, never relenting, never weakening, only gaining in speed and strength, like a hurricane.
And obsessed I shall remain, especially after reading these essays which are as varied and wide-ranging as can be, crackling with wit an ...more
I am an aspiring writer who is black and female and emigrated to the United States with my family from the Dominican Republic when I was very young. Zadie Smith is a black, female writer whose mother is from a different ...more
The two roles are easily discernible as distinct entities in her writing, even as it's clear that they may not be so separate in her own mind. In her first role as Public Intellectual, she has pen, will travel, then writ ...more
What can’t this woman do? And with such charm and perspicacity! She was analyzing postcolonial literature and Zora Neale Hurston when I was still stuck on Sweet Valley High as a 12 year old. She really knows her literary shit. But I really ...more
I feel affection and empathy for Smith throughout this book, admiring her eloquence and sharing her literary and political sensibil ...more
I love Zadie Smith. Her essays are so fluid and learned and passionate, so intimate and insightful and intelligent, how could I not love her? Among the pieces collected here include the moving "Dead Man Laughing" about her father (Smith comes from an atypical family background), a horrifying report on Liberian aid workers, and the dissertation "The Difficult Gifts of David Foster Wallace."
Essential fodder for the passionate modern reader.
In many of the reviews of th ...more
The thing that impressed me most about this collection is how nimble Smith's mind is, and how good she is of living up to the credo of E.M. Forster, one of her literary heroes: "Only connect." (There's a good essay about him in here, too.)
In one of my ...more
Oh man! This was comPLETEly great. Zadie Smith is clever as a devil. And her memoriam to David Foster Wallace is beeaauuutiful.
Except some creepy asshole was trying to crush me into the dumpster with his giant behind while I was finishing the last page. Whi ...more
"Rereading Barthes and Nabokov," "That Crafty Feeling," Zadie ...more
One of her most touching and important essays is about Z ...more
This being Zadie Smith, the writing is an absolute joy to read. Every sentence is considered without sounding laboured. There’s genuine emotion but not soppiness. And her signature dry humour peppers every page. But entertaining as Changing My Mind is, it’s more than just a collection of musings and ha ...more
This, her most personal book to date, is a collection of essays ranging from film reviews of Date Movie and Shopgirl (among others) to literary criticism of Barthes, Kafka and Forester. She explores Obama’s use of language, her childhoo ...more
But, because this book is good for me (good to exercise my mind, good to get me out of the habit of reading through books in an almost semi-conscious state) I don't exactly like reading it. This boo ...more
[4 stars for refreshing intelligence, for restoring faith in writer's capacity for good words & sen ...more
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zadie_Smith