Michael's Reviews > Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays

Changing My Mind by Zadie Smith
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Sep 13, 11

bookshelves: craft_and_criticism, nonfiction-reference
Read in December, 2010

Thought I had added this last year when I read it; should have done, as I loved it. (Even bought an extra copy to give to someone; thought better of it and have since had a spare sitting on my shelf awaiting the right reader.)

I've loved Smith's pieces that I've read in the New Yorker and elsewhere—a more accessible writer about inaccessible fiction I doubt exists. Her piece here on David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews with Hideous Men gave me an appreciation for a book I'd always had issues with; her piece about a rather insignificant gig of E.M. Forster's reveals both her love of Forster and why his work mattered and connected with its audience; there are great bits on Kafka and George Eliot and more. And her autobiographical pieces here—especially the one about her father and their shared love of a certain kind of British humor—are moving and singular.

It's a great book about art of the storytelling sort, and indispensable in its way. Not for everyone, no, but if it's your sort of thing you'll love it.
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