Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I am currently reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith and relishing her writing style. How can someone so young be so brilliant?


This is Zadie Smith's tribute to E.M. Forster's Howard's End (1910). Using the same structure, Smith modernizes Forster's story, with a twist--now, it's a story about not just class differences in England, but a transatlantic story in which race, socioeconomic class, education, and political leanings all make a difference. Smith is so good at writing dialog that I found myself not just subvocalizing, but reading aloud. Luckily, the only other sentient being in the room was my cat, who stared at me with rapt attention, every time.

Zadie Smith is wise beyond her years, an old soul who seems to have crept into every conceivable person's mind, at one time or other. She can be simultaneously very funny and very sad, can showcase difference viewpoints even handedly and expose them both, too. And she makes it seem easy. This book slips away as smoothly as cheesecake off a fork, despite its brilliance, and ends while the reader is still enjoying the rich experience.

If you have the time, read this book!


Ariel the Thief said...

Is that book written in Chinese or Japanese? The cat knows better than trying to read, he is trying to dream in.

actonbell said...

Hehe, Ariel, he's a cutie, isn't he? Better than a bookmark.

TLP said...

"Dream in," teach me how!

Apparently you like the book.Give us a review.

Minka said...

I have read White Teeth and abosultely loved it. She truly is amazing for her young age. She came to Iceland way back and read out of her books and answered question. This here Penguin is the proud owner of a signed copy! I will rea dthis one!

I love to read out loud, my bird, sadly, thinks it is occasion for him to peep along, which kinda spoils the momentous effect :)