A vivid storyteller and teacher at NYU, (and former jazz singer), Zadie Smith is a woman living true to her spirit.
“Novels can make you think but if they don’t make you feel there’s just no purpose to them”
Briton, Jamaican, mother, writer, female. Zadie is one of the few writers whose fiction and non-fiction is held in equally high esteem, and whose opinion on the world is regularly sought simply because it’s hers. What makes her unique, is what makes her sought after.
I love Zadie’s work because she brings a perspective that can only come from her being true to her spirit. Zadie’s perspective, her voice comes from an underrepresented constituency – she gifts us all with a new way of thinking and a new way of seeing. Her talent results partly from a life spent transitioning between races (her father is English and her mother Jamaican); between classes (she grew up in British public housing but vaulted in her early 20s into the literary intelligentsia); and between continents (she divides her time between her native London and New York, where she teaches fiction writing).
Whilst Zadie contains multitudes, she makes the point through her stories, that we all do. At the same time, we are, in our endless difference, nobody but ourselves. Zadie says “Becoming ourselves means finding your people, and your place among them.” This resonates with me.
I hope Zadie’s work encourages all of us to honour what makes us unique – and to give it a voice.