"NW" is Zadie Smith's masterful novel about London life. Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic "NW" follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and ...
"NW" is Zadie Smith's masterful novel about London life. Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic "NW" follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel. A portrait of modern urban life, "NW" is funny, sad and urgent - as brimming with vitality as the city itself. Praise for "NW": "Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens' legitimate daughter". (Boyd Tonkin, "Independent"). "Astonishing, dazzling. Really - without exaggeration - not since Dickens has there been a better observer of London scenes. Zadie Smith is a genius. It's hard to imagine a better novel this year - or this decade". (A.N. Wilson). "Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year". (Philip Hensher, "Daily Telegraph"). "Absolutely brilliant. So electrically authentic". ("Time"). "Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy, like London. She's up there with the best around". ("Evening Standard"). "Marvellous ...crackles with reflections on race, music and migration. A lyrical fiction for our times". ("Spectator"). "Undeniably brilliant ...rush out and buy this book". ("Observer"). Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels "White Teeth", "The Autograph Man" and "On Beauty", and of a collection of essays, "Changing My Mind". She is also the editor of "The Book of Other People".
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-09-10 The reader first meets Leah Hanwell at her most vulnerable (some might say gullible): at home, when the doorbell rings and in tumbles a desperate, unknown but not unfamiliar woman, pleading for money, which Leah provides. Although this incident soon fades into an awkward anecdote shared later at awkward gatherings, it introduces the framework of Smith's (White Teeth) excellent and captivating new novel, in which the lines dividing neighbors from strangers are not always clear or permanent. The book takes place in NW London, where characters intersect and circumvent one another's lives and, in the process, expose their ethnic distinctions and class transformations, their relationships and their secrets. Leah's childhood best friend Natalie Blake (formerly Keisha Blake) eventually becomes the primary focus and the contrast between the two women allows for some of the book's most compelling insights, namely the inevitability of vs. the disinterest in becoming a mother, which Natalie has done and Leah decisively has not. The book's middle section introduces Felix Cooper, a friend of neither woman, but whose fate will affect them both. Smith's masterful ability to suspend all these bits and parts in the amber which is London refracts light, history, and the humane beauty of seeing everything at once. Agent: Georgia Garrett, Rogers, Coleridge and White. (Sept. 4) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2013-02-25 In the hands of Smith, Northwest London-the postcode area that gives her fourth novel its title-is more than just a setting: told in shifting perspectives of its lifelong residents, NW becomes a character in its own right. Working class, downtrodden, with an undercurrent of hopelessness and violence, this borough of London is home to Leah, Felix, Natalie, and Nathan, Smith's four focal characters, each one facing a conflict of identity. So many of the societal and class differences in NW are shown through nuances of voice, diction, and accent. And in this audio edition, narrators Don Gilet and Karen Bryson excel, capturing the subtleties of the many fluid dialectics in Northwest London spoken by immigrants and natives alike. The strong performances of and seamless interplay between Gilet and Bryson deftly capture the gritty day-to-day life of NW. A Penguin hardcover. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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