"'And then you begin to give up the very idea of belonging. Suddenly this thing, this belonging, it seems like some long, dirty lie...and I begin to b"'And then you begin to give up the very idea of belonging. Suddenly this thing, this belonging, it seems like some long, dirty lie...and I begin to believe that birthplaces are accidents, that everything is an accident. But if you believe that, where do you go? What do you do? What does anything matter?'"
Musings like this on the immigrant experience of feeling like an outsider in a Western country, while simultaneously losing your connection to your home country really hit home. Zadie Smith's handling of such important and controversial topics as race, religion, genetic engineering, suicide, and fate is masterful. Also, damn this book is hilarious. I laughed out loud several times and had to put the book down a bit to gain composure.
A few people were upset about the ending, and I get that (no spoilers). But, I think Zadie Smith takes her characters as seriously at the end as she does at the beginning: misfit families grasping at meaning, leading to hilarious, and unexpected, (and often anti-climactic) consequences.
As a few reviewers noted, I too believe this book will become (if it is not already) a classic. It's insane in 1999, Zadie Smith was astute and daring enough to discuss the type of racism discussed in Get Out and Atlanta-for lack of a better term: micro-aggressions. Racism with a smile. The character of Lacey embodied this and her micro-aggressions against immigrants and lesbians reminded me of comments I've heard over the years about Islam from my friends' mothers. It's the type of comment that you really just can't put a finger on, but Zadie Smith articulates it in a way that I never could.
"But it makes an immigrant laugh to hear the fears of the nationalist, scared of infection, penetration, miscegenation, when this is small fry, peanuts, compared to what the immigrant fears-dissolution, disappearance."
Zadie also captures the anti-immigrant feelings in 1999 that are especially present now in 2017. With the quote above, she reveals the fear of immigrants losing their culture and (now) their lives.
If you're looking for a book that tackles important topics in a clever and hilarious way, look no further than White Teeth....more
As emotionally difficult it was to read this book (especially in public places), I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for these paAs emotionally difficult it was to read this book (especially in public places), I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for these parents to relive their most tragic moments in writing this book. I'm glad they did. This is essential reading. Rest in Power tells the story not just of parents who overcame the brutal murder of their child, but of two human beings who somehow channeled their immense sorrow into creating social change in the name of their son only days after his death. With Trump going from crisis to crisis, I've noticed less coverage of police brutality, mass-incarceration, and other cases of systemic oppression of Black Americans in the media. And it's not that there's been less cases of police brutality since Trump took office, in fact, quite the opposite: https://newsone.com/3661666/donald-tr.... Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin's call to action in writing Rest in Power could not have come at a better time....more