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NW by Zadie Smith

Posted: by Emma on August 29, 2016

NW by Zadie Smith

I have always admired (and maybe been a teensy bit jealous) of Zadie Smith. The English author wrote her first novel, White Teeth, when she was in university and it was published when she was 24 years old. I was 24 when I read it and thought it was brilliant. To think that the author was my age, actually younger than me, just left me in awe. I wasn't a huge fan of her follow up books - Autograph Man and On Beauty, but found myself back in that familiar awe-struck state with NW. She writes of London, of immigrants and different lifestyles, of love and family, of characters that you could never identify with and characters that seem just like you, and of school mates that you grow apart because everyone chooses a different path in life.


The writing style of this book was very different, almost experimental, which changed depending on the character being focused on. A story of four people, from the same low-income, government subsidized housing area, who attended the same school and how their lives interconnect as time goes on. I loved the chapter on Keisha/Natalie, with its paragraph long chapters.


I would definitely recommend NW to anyone who enjoyed White Teeth, or to anyone who enjoys quirky short stories that are loosely connected to each other, such as Jennifer Egan's "A Visit from the Goon Squad" (another one of my favourite books.)

 

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