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White Teeth - Zadie Smith

Paperback

Published: July 2000
For Ages: 14+ years old
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One of the most talked about fictional debuts of recent years, White Teeth is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.

In the last two decades, what this novel describes as the 'great ocean-crossing experiment' has added a whopping dose of fertiliser to British literature, enabling it to flower as never before. And now, with Smith's impressive debut, there are signs of fresh growth. Smith's disillusioned men, frustrated women and torn teenagers are 'midnight's grandchildren', for whom cultural meltdown, segregation and reinvention are recurring themes. Her narrative charts the tragi-comic progress of Samad Iqbal and Archie Jones from World War II to 1990s London. It's here, amid the caffs and tikka restaurants of Willesden that both men settle and found families - Archie with the Afro-Carribean Clara, and Samad with Alsana, from his native Bengal. And it is here that their assorted offspring do battle with the expectations and hypocrisies of their elders and the seductive lure of fundamentalism. Smith's habit of switching protagonists almost in mid-stream gives the book a directionless feel, but what the novel lacks in narrative drive it makes up for in humour, verve and stylistic playfulness. And while Smith's intelligent, feisty prose style bears more than a passing resemblance to Salman Rushdie's, the territory she lays claim to is her own. A writer to watch. (Kirkus UK)

ISBN: 9780140276336
ISBN-10: 0140276335
Audience: General
For Ages: 14+ years old
For Grades: 9+
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: July 2000
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 0.4

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975, and continues to live in the area. White Teeth is her first novel and won awards for Best Book and Best Female Newcomer at the BT Emma Awards (Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards), the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread Prize for a first novel in 2000, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction 2000, the WH Smith Book Award for New Talent, the Frankfurt eBook Award for Best Fiction Work Originally Published in 2000 and both the Commonwealth Writers First Book Award and Overall Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Her other novels are The Autograph Man and On Beauty, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2005 and won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006. She also edited the collection of contemporary short fiction The Book of Other People, and wrote Changing My Mind, a collection of personal and cultural essays.

Her forthcoming novel, NW, will be published by Hamish Hamilton in 2012.

Visit Zadie Smith's Booktopia Author Page