So, when I was a bookseller, Zadie Smith was huge. She’s still huge. But she was very huge when I was slinging books. And you know what? I never read any of her work. I think it’s because I have a basic allergy to the stable of McSweeney’s authors. I have no reason for this, but there it is.
And I never read her. And then when I was flying to Austin a few weeks ago, I read this article she wrote about Joni Mitchell. I read it and thought, OMG, this is exactly me. And then I saw that Smith’s new novel NW was one of the top 10 books of 2012 according to the NY Times. And I needed a new book, so I read it. And it was very good.
And then I thought, well maybe I should read White Teeth. And so I’m doing that now. And perhaps it’s even better than NW. It’s certainly funnier (NW isn’t trying to be funny). And the language is a bit smarter. I’m really enjoying it.
And then I found out that her other novel, On Beauty, is a retelling of Howard’s End. Eek!
The moral: I’m on a Zadie Smith binge. And I am also a fool for not reading her sooner.