Synopses & Reviews
A sparkling collection of Zadie Smith's nonfiction over the past decade.
Zadie Smith brings to her essays all of the curiosity, intellectual rigor, and sharp humor that have attracted so many readers to her fiction, and the result is a collection that is nothing short of extraordinary.
Split into four sections — "Reading", "Being", "Seeing", and "Feeling" — Changing My Mind invites readers to witness the world from Zadie Smith's unique vantage. Smith casts her acute eye over material both personal and cultural, with wonderfully engaging essays-some published here for the first time-on diverse topics including literature, movies, going to the Oscars, British comedy, family, feminism, Obama, Katharine Hepburn, and Anna Magnani.
In her investigations Smith also reveals much of herself. Her literary criticism shares the wealth of her experiences as a reader and exposes the tremendous influence diverse writers — E. M. Forster, Zora Neale Hurston, George Eliot, and others — have had on her writing life and her self-understanding. Smith also speaks directly to writers as a craftsman, offering precious practical lessons on process. Here and throughout, readers will learn of the wide-ranging experiences-in novels, travel, philosophy, politics, and beyond-that have nourished Smith's rich life of the mind. Her probing analysis offers tremendous food for thought, encouraging readers to attend to the slippery questions of identity, art, love, and vocation that so often go neglected.
Changing My Mind announces Zadie Smith as one of our most important contemporary essayists, a writer with the rare ability to turn the world on its side with both fact and fiction. Changing My Mind is a gift to readers, writers, and all who want to look at life more expansively.
"Smith is wise enough to recognize an element of incompatibility between the artist and the politician (unlike politicians, 'Shakespeare's art, the very medium of it, allowed him to do what civic officers and politicians can't seem to: speak simultaneous truths'), but her hope, implicit in the beautiful passage above, that public officials might at least look upon the Bard as a philosophical role model, is a hope that deserves to be nourished. " Morten Hoi Jensen, Identity Theory
(Read the entire Identity Theory review
Divided into four sections — "Reading", "Being", "Seeing", and "Feeling" — Changing My Mind features Smith's wonderfully engaging essays on topics as diverse as literature, going to the Oscars, feminism, Obama, and Anna Magnani.
About the Author
Zadie Smith was born in northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man, and On Beauty, and the editor of The Book of Other People. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Believer.