Zadie Smith Archive

Zadie Smith’s Exploration of Experience as Authority

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What Zadie Smith does in showing a Kilburn girl located within the Wife of Bath’s voice of experience is to open up space for thinking through the particular authority—the particular value and, especially in the play’s conclusion, the particular forms of sexual justice—such experience offers.

Compact Spaces and Relationships in Howards End and On Beauty

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E.M. Forster’s novel is deeply concerned with compactly contained relationships, as well as the ideas and spaces that forge these connections. Zadie Smith’s modern-day retelling explores similarly contained personal relationships with a significant update: the book is set on a college campus.

Zadie Smith’s ‘The Lazy River’ and Social Media

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Throughout "The Lazy River" Smith uses the second person and first person plural to create a community on the page, not unlike the ones we flock to online. She establishes from the beginning that we, as readers, will be a part of the narrative and complicit in the action that ensues.

The Classism of Dental Work in Erin McGraw’s Short Story “Teeth”

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There are many ways in which teeth can also set people apart. In the short story “Teeth” from the January/February issue of Kenyon Review Online, Erin McGraw explores classism and the power of wealth through the symbol of teeth.

Feel Free by Zadie Smith

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Feel Free is an excellent place to find one of the best contemporary writers writing at her best.

Reading Backwards

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Finally recognizing this pattern has led me to an unconventional idea: we should teach literary survey courses backwards. And those of us who are no longer in lit classes (or who have steered clear of them altogether) should read that way ourselves.

Where Zadie Smith’s “Getting In and Out” Misses the Mark

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Despite Smith’s powerful and undeniable ability to employ and maneuver language the way she does, “Getting In and Out” comes up short for two very vital reasons.

In Remembrance of Brian Doyle

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When the prolific author Brian Doyle passed away last month, American Letters lost not only a talented writer in Doyle, but also a waning parochial worldview.

The Weather We’re Having

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The calamity of weather disaster in literature offers more overt indications of those who are vulnerable and exposed. From Shakespeare’s encroaching storms to Richard Wright’s floods, from Zora Neale Hurston’s hurricane to Haruki Murakami’s quakes, we learn that we have to keep our eyes on the skies and our

Insights into Celebrity Humanitarianism from Zadie Smith’s SWING TIME

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It’s not novel for celebrities to dip their toes into humanitarian waters. Actor Danny Kaye was named the first UNICEF ambassador-at-large in 1954, a full two decades before Angelina Jolie was even born. The trope of the well-meaning but clueless celebrity do-gooder is so entrenched that it’s become easy