Friday, February 5, 2010

Lovers of Books and/or Free Things Take Note

My friend, Greg, book-blogger extraordinaire, is having a giveaway on his blog - Novelist Zadie Smith's collection of essays: Changing My Mind.  If you are a Zadie Smith fan, or just a fan of getting something free, check out The New Dork Review of Books.

By the way, if you have never read any of Ms. Smith's work, I recommend checking out White Teeth - an epic novel about intertwining immigrant families in London.  The thing I appreciate most about WT (besides the fact that she wrote this brilliant novel when she was 24ish!) is the way she juxtaposes tradition and technology.  She weaves some amazingly real and grounded individual characters with the more universal themes of holding on to one's culture and one's past while facing the inevitable conflict of living in a new country and a modern world -- a world which appreciates sameness and convenience...

"The past is prologue..."


  1. Thanks, buddy - and good luck!

    Interesting thing about White Teeth that I learned from the essay collection - many of the characters are eerily similar to Smith's own family (rapper brother, Jamaican mother much younger than WW II veteran father). They say all first novels are semi-autobiographical, and White Teeth certainly epitomizes that idea. I doesn't diminish the novel at all, in my view.

    Also, I'd skip The Autograph man - definitely a sophomore slumper. But her third novel titled On Beauty, a retelling of EM Forster's Howard's End, is fantastic!

  2. yeah, I've actually started The Autograph Man a couple times only to bail about 50-75 pages in...

    after hearing about Smith's family, I want to read the essay collection even more!


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