Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review: NW by Zadie Smith

NW might be set in (northwest) London, but its central question, about the pathway to success, is one that is increasingly the subject of public discourse across the pond. How much does place play into the people we become? Does race matter? How complex is the web of socio-economic factors that one must negotiate to achieve success in life? What does success even mean? These are the complex questions that the talented Zadie Smith looks to explore in NW.

The setting is one that Smith, who grew up in the area, knows like the back of her hand. It is one that Smith has visited before to great success in her previous novels, especially in her spectacular debut, White Teeth. The neighborhood is itself a living breathing character in the book: “Ungentrified, ungentrifiable. Boom and bust never come here. Here bust is permanent.”

The rest of the review is here.

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