Nw by Zadie SmithNw by Zadie Smith


byZadie Smith

Paperback | August 6, 2013

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This is the story of a city.The northwest corner of a city. Here you'll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and those who live nowhere at all. And many people in between. Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds.

And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing disruption in the whole system. Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell's door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation.

Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - as they try to make adult lives outside Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys, and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end.


Zadie Smith was born in northwest London in 1975. She is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty, and of a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at Harvard and Columbia universities. She is a fe...
Title:NwFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.23 × 5.26 × 0.88 inPublished:August 6, 2013Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143170287

ISBN - 13:9780143170280

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent This was an interesting read but it didn't really all come together in the end. I found it hard to get into as well.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love Zadie An engaging read, that doesn't feel like it comes together in the end.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a fave Love Zadie but this one just didn't grab me. Interesting style and structure but I couldn't really get invested in it like her other novels.
Date published: 2017-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from In Praise of Tough Reads I read Zadie Smith?s ?NW? immediately after finishing Jonas Jonasson?s ?The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared.? The juxtaposition taught me something about my reading proclivities: I prefer books and authors that make me work. Zadie Smith made me work. It was sometimes difficult to sort out the connection amongst the constellation of characters in ?NW.? Standard formatting devices such as quotation marks around speech were often eschewed blurring the line between what was spoken out loud and what was internal monologue. The four parts of the novel were each structured differently: the first, ?visitation,? had a typical format of numbered chapters; the second, ?guest,? used borough designations to set off the chapters; the third and longest part, ?host,? numbered not the chapters but each individual paragraph; and finally the fourth, reprised the title ?visitation? and was essentially one relatively short chapter. But more challenging than these structural variations were the difficulties that I experienced in following the characters? evolutions with the at-times convoluted plot. I had to be constantly attentive. I needed to reread sections or flip back to previous chapters. I did a great deal of highlighting of passages that I thought would help me follow the storyline. And, bottom line, I was totally engaged. ?NW? was not a fun, easy read. It was, by contrast, difficult. And I loved it. Like a great workout at the gym, Zadie Smith had the adrenalin pumping through my brain. And that left me satisfied in the same way that a rush of endorphins does. As for ?The 100-Year-Old Man?,? it?s probably sacrilege to say that I was bored. I know that the book has been immensely popular, as are others by Jonasson. And, truth be told, I wasn?t exactly bored. It was a fun story told by Jonasson with such an entertaining narrative style that the book carried me along effortlessly. Which is not to say that Jonasson?s writing is effortless. As a struggling fiction writer myself, I know how hard it is to write a text that has the fluidity of Jonasson?s work. But as for visceral satisfaction? For me, ?The 100-Year-Old Man?? doesn?t come close to ?NW.?
Date published: 2014-11-09

Editorial Reviews

"An extraordinary vision of our age." - Washington Post

“This is, hands down, [Smith’s] best novel to date.” - Toronto Star

"The exhilarating crackle and sparkle of Smith’s prose. Her dialogue sings and soars… Page by effervescent page, NW delivers all the jostling, aromatic savour and spice of a stroll up Kilburn High Road… Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens’ legitimate daughter." - The Independant