Book: Smith Zadie «Changing My Mind. Occasional Essays»

Changing My Mind. Occasional Essays

Серия: "-"

How did George Eliot's love life affect her prose? Why did Kafka write at three in the morning? In what ways is Barack Obama like Eliza Doolittle? Can you be over-dressed for the Oscars? What is Italian Feminism? If Roland Barthes killed the Author, can Nabokov revive him? What does'soulful'mean? Is "Date Movie" the worst film ever made? Split into five sections - Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling and Remembering -"Changing My Mind" finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays - some published here for the first time - reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing of Obama, Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani or David Foster Wallace, she brings a practitioner's care to the art of criticism, with a style as sympathetic as it is insightful." Changing My Mind" is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent and funny - a gift to readers and writers both. Within its covers an essay is more than a column of opinions: it's a space in which to think freely.

Издательство: "Penguin Group" (2009)

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Smith, Zadie

▪ 2004

      In 2003 Granta magazine named Zadie Smith one of the best young British novelists. Such praise was nothing new for the English author whose debut novel, White Teeth (2000), had created a sensation in the publishing world. The ambitious work teemed with eccentric characters, savvy humour, and snappy dialogue while addressing such serious issues as race, religion, and cultural identity. Set in the working-class suburb of Willesden in northwest London, White Teeth chronicled the lives of best friends Archie Jones, a down-on-his-luck Englishman whose failed suicide attempt opens the novel, and Samad Iqbal, a Bengali Muslim who struggles to fit into British society. Spanning some 50 years, the novel also detailed the trials and tribulations of their families. Soon after its publication, critics hailed Smith as a modern-day Charles Dickens, a comparison that seemed especially apt when the novel was adapted in 2002 (U.K.) for public television's Masterpiece Theatre, a long-lived program best known for its miniseries based on English literary classics.

      Sadie Smith was born in London in 1975 to a Jamaican mother and an English father; at age 14 she changed the spelling of her first name to Zadie. She began writing poems and stories as a child and later studied English literature at the University of Cambridge (B.A., 1998). While there she began writing White Teeth, and at age 21 she submitted some 80 pages to an agent. A frenzied bidding war ensued, and the book eventually was sold to Hamish Hamilton. Smith took several more years to complete the novel, and in 2000 it was published to rave reviews. Critics applauded Smith's confident storytelling ability and her gift for creating vivid characters. White Teeth won numerous awards, including the Whitbread First Novel Award (2000), and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, was published in 2002. It centred on Alex-Li Tandem, a Chinese Jewish autograph trader who sets out to meet a reclusive 1950s starlet and in the process undertakes his own journey of self-discovery. The Autograph Man, which also addressed the public's obsession with celebrity and pop culture, received mostly positive reviews. In 2003 it received the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. Soon after the novel's publication, Smith became a fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. There she began work on a collection of essays on the moral philosophy of selected 20th-century writers and on her much-anticipated third novel.

Amy Tikkanen

* * *

▪ British author
originally  Sadie Smith 
born Oct. 27, 1975, London, Eng.
 
 British author known for her treatment of race, religion, and cultural identity and for her novels' eccentric characters, savvy humour, and snappy dialogue. She became a sensation in the literary world with the publication of her first novel, White Teeth, in 2000.

      Smith, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and an English father, changed the spelling of her first name to Zadie at age 14. She began writing poems and stories as a child and later studied English literature at the University of Cambridge (B.A., 1998). While there, she began writing White Teeth, and at age 21 she submitted some 80 pages to an agent. A frenzied bidding war ensued, and the book eventually was sold to Hamish Hamilton. Smith took several more years to complete the novel, and in 2000 it was published to rave reviews. Set in the working-class suburb of Willesden in northwest London, White Teeth chronicled the lives of best friends Archie Jones, a down-on-his-luck Englishman whose failed suicide attempt opens the novel, and Samad Iqbal, a Bengali Muslim who struggles to fit into British society. Spanning some 50 years, the novel also detailed the trials and tribulations of their families, which prompted some critics to hail Smith as a modern-day Charles Dickens (Dickens, Charles). The ambitious work won numerous awards, including the Whitbread First Novel Award (2000), and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction.

      Smith's second novel, The Autograph Man, was published in 2002. It centred on Alex-Li Tandem, a Chinese Jewish autograph trader who sets out to meet a reclusive 1950s starlet and in the process undertakes his own journey of self-discovery. The Autograph Man, which also addressed the public's obsession with celebrity and pop culture, received mostly positive reviews. Soon after the novel's publication, Smith became a fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. There she began work on a collection of essays about the moral philosophy of selected 20th-century writers and on her much-anticipated third novel.

      On Beauty, published in 2005, lived up to its expectations and further established Smith as one of the foremost British novelists of her day. The novel, heavily modeled on E.M. Forster (Forster, E M)'s Howards End, chronicled the lives of two families in the fictional town of Wellington, Mass., just outside Boston. A comic work studying the culture wars and racial and ethnic overlap in a liberal college town, On Beauty was praised for its acumen and scathing satire. The novel was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize (Booker Prize) and won the 2006 Orange Prize for fiction.

* * *

Источник: Smith, Zadie

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