NW – Zadie Smith


This book was recommended to me by Donna. She had previously read Smith’s White Teeth and On Beauty, both of which she also recommends (especially White Teeth).

I quite enjoyed the book. Structurally, it was very interesting – each section had a different style and flavor. The current Wikipedia article on the book sums this up nicely:

The novel is experimental and follows four different characters living in London, shifting between first and third person, stream-of-consciousness, screenplay-style dialogue and other narrative techniques…

The content primarily focuses on issues of class. It explores the lives of two main characters who grew up in the NW London projects and later went on to cross class lines as they worked their way up the social and economic ladders. Much of the tension in the book revolves around the ideas of who you were then vs. who you are now (and to what degree this separation is intrinsic or self-imposed).

Finally, having come from a somewhat modest background myself, I saw aspects of my own life reflected in the themes of the book, which made it that much more interesting.

Comments are closed.