Zadie Smith is a contemporary British novelist, essayist, and short-story writer. Born on October 25, 1975, in London, England, she gained fame with her first novel, 'White Teeth,' published in 2000. Smith's work is known for its insightful treatment of race, identity, and multiculturalism. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing, including the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. In addition to 'White Teeth,' her notable works include 'The Autograph Man,' 'On Beauty,' 'NW,' and 'Swing Time.' Smith is also a professor of fiction at New York University.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
1. White Teeth
This novel follows the lives of two friends, a working-class Englishman and a Bangladeshi Muslim, living in London. The story explores the complex relationships between people of different races, cultures, and generations in modern Britain, with themes of identity, immigration, and the cultural and social changes that have shaped the country. The narrative is enriched by the characters' personal histories and the historical events that have shaped their lives.
2. NW: A Novel
This novel follows the lives of four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan - as they navigate adulthood in the diverse, vibrant, and sometimes volatile neighborhood where they grew up. The narrative explores themes of identity, class, friendship, and the complex nature of urban life, intertwining the characters' stories in a way that reflects the interconnectedness and fragmentation of city living.
3. On Beauty
This novel is a contemporary, multicultural exploration of family life, love, and identity. It follows the lives of two mixed-race families, the Belseys and the Kipps, who are linked by their shared professions in academia and a complex web of marital and extramarital relationships. The story is set against the backdrop of Wellington, a fictional New England town, and explores themes of race, class, and cultural clash. It also delves into the world of academia, examining the politics and conflicts that arise in that environment.
"Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays" is a collection of essays that explores a wide range of topics, from literature and film to politics and culture. The author shares her thoughts and insights on these subjects, often through the lens of her personal experiences and observations. The book offers a glimpse into the author's mind, showcasing her intellectual curiosity, critical thinking skills, and unique perspective on the world.
5. Swing Time
This novel follows the lives of two biracial girls who dream of becoming professional dancers. Although they both have talent, only one of them has the ambition to pursue it. As their lives diverge, one girl becomes a personal assistant to a pop star while the other lives a life of relative obscurity. The narrative explores themes of race, class, friendship, and identity, weaving a story that spans decades and continents.
The novel is a complex exploration of family dynamics, personal identity, and political ideology set against the backdrop of academic rivalry in a fictional New England college town. It follows the story of the Belsey family, particularly the father, a white English professor struggling with his career, and his African-American wife, who is questioning her own artistic ambitions. Their three children grapple with their biracial heritage and their own burgeoning personal lives. The narrative delves into themes of beauty, art, and cultural clash, as the Belsey family's liberal sensibilities are challenged by their conservative counterparts, the Kipps family, leading to a series of personal and ideological conflicts that force each character to confront their own prejudices and desires.