From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays
Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.
Arranged into five sectionsIn the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Freethis new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Networkand Facebook itselfreally about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changesand this had taken the fight out of us somewhat."
Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisiveand never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.
Feel Free 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
Zadie Smith’s Feel Free is a round up collection of essays and journalistic pieces from over the past ten years. Smith covers a wide range of current issue and topics. From library closures in London, to having a sit down with Jay Z at an Italian restaurant, Brexit, Facebook and she even manages to discuss Justin Bieber in relation to philosopher Martin Buber. Every single piece in this collection is absolutely phenomenal.
While I am fully aware that not all the pieces will be for everybody – I guarantee there will be something that speaks to you, as quiet a few hit me to the core.
Smith says she asks herself whenever she meets someone whose interests are wide-ranging : “How does she find the time?” With all the varied topics in this book a prospective reader may wonder : How will we find the time to dig into all these subjects with her? To answer that question – this book is not one you should be in a rush to finish in one sitting. This is a book you buy, keep near and savor slowly.
Five star rating!
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