Daily Archives: October 27, 2005

Bookslut | Zadie Smith: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Bookslut | Zadie Smith: Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Zadie Smith is 28. The Autograph Man, her second novel, ranks 3,669 on Amazon. White Teeth , her debut, at 4,323. She clocked a fair advance on the books — £250,000, people say. She’s smart, thin, and — bar her boyfriend, poet Nick Laird — the best-looking person in the room. Oh Zadie, Zadie: where did it all go wrong?

For Zadie is disgruntled…

…Flat-footed, grudging, pompous etc. catches the tenor of her answers rather well. Asked why people like lists such as the Granta one, she is scathing. “Lists are less trouble,” she tells us. “I think it’s a slightly depressing English habit. We’d much rather have somebody else’s taste to follow rather than having to take any time finding something new; discovering new writers or going to a bookshop without instruction. It is depressing.”…

“This culture is so in overdrive about any kind of youthful fiction,” she fulminates. “Monica doesn’t think hers is the greatest book ever written, but you find yourself defending something you never believed. The hype is an enormous psychological pressure on a writer. Not that anyone should weep for a writer who has earned loads of money. But the bottom line is, this is not a healthy thing to have in your head at eight in the morning when you’re trying to write something. It’s just very messy. Even in America you have a better chance of having a basically healthy literary career, at least in the beginning, than you do in England. We’re driven by the celebrity mania that this whole country is sunk in.”…

Sounds to me that Zadie Smith could be right, and “Book Slut” a tad bitchy… But that’s just my opinion.

All I know is I am really enjoying The Autograph Man, which is hilarious, even if it is really about death — in a rather serious way. Mr Rabbit is right about Zadie Smith!

Here are my select quotes so far: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 27, 2005 in book reviews, British, Fiction, Multicultural, Pomo, satire, Top read