Zadie Smith's "On Beauty" is a funny, powerful and moving story about love and family. Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Why do we visit our mistakes on our children? What makes life truly beautiful? Set in New England mainly and London partly, "On Beauty" concerns a pair of feuding families - the Belseys and the Kipps - and a clutch of doomed affairs. It puts low morals among high ideals and asks some searching questions about what life does to love. For the Belseys and the Kipps, the confusions - both personal and political - of our uncertain age are about to be brought close to home: right to the heart of family. "The novel I didn't want to finish, I was enjoying it so much". (John Sutherland, "Evening Standard"). "Thrums with intellectual sass and know-how". ("Literary Review"). "Delightfully entertaining ...filled with humour, generosity and contemporary sparkle". (Alex Clark, "Daily Telegraph"). "My novel of the year ...Delicious". (Liz Jones, "Evening Standard"). "Satirical, wise and sexy". ("Washington Post"). "Heartstopping". ("The Times Literary Supplement"). "A triumph, Smith's comedy shines". ("Daily Mail").
"Ambitious, hugely impressive, beautifully observed". ("Guardian"). Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. Her debut novel, "White Teeth", won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Prize, and was included in TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005. Her second novel, "On Beauty", was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction. She has written two further novels, "The Autograph Man" and "NW", a collection of essays, "Changing My Mind", and also edited a short-story anthology, "The Book of Other People".
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The autograph man
The Autograph Man is Zadie Smith's whirlwind tour of celebrity and our fame-obsessed times.
Following one Alex-Li Tandem - a twenty-something, Chinese-Jewish autograph dealer turned on by sex, drugs and organised religion - it takes in London and New York, love and death, fathers and sons, as Alex tries to discover how a piece of paper can bring him closer to his heart's desire. Exposing our misconceptions about our idols - about ourselves - Zadie Smith delivers a brilliant, unforgettable tale about who we are and what we really want to be.
'A glorious concoction written by our most beguiling and original prose-wizard' Independent on Sunday
'A brilliant comedy with a tantalising throb of mystic philosophy underneath' Philip Hensher, Books of the Year, Spectator
'A pleasure from the first page to the last' Evening Standard
'Intellectually agile ... ecstatic inventiveness' Time
'A classic' Spectator
'Genuinely funny and entertaining' Guardian
'Vibrant, highly imaginative' Jewish Chronicle
'Full of irony, humour, the search for love and the fear of death . . . a touching, thoughtful, deeply felt rite-of-passage novel' Sunday Telegraph
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
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