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Zadie Smith

16 articles
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Fiction Pick of the Week: "Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets"

Cultural, sexual and generational clashes surround an aging New York drag queen.

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Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets

Cultural, sexual, and generational clashes surround an aging New York drag queen.

"Clinton Corset Emporium. No awning, just a piece of cardboard stuck in the window. As Miss Adele entered, a bell tinkled overhead – an actual bell, on a catch wire – and she found herself in a long narrow room – a hallway really – with a counter down the left-hand side and a curtained-off cubicle at the far end, for privacy. Bras and corsets were everywhere, piled on top of each other in anonymous white cardboard boxes, towering up to the ceiling. They seemed to form the very walls of the place. 'Good afternoon,' said Miss Adele, daintily removing her gloves, finger by finger. 'I am looking for a corset.'

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Find Your Beach

On loving and hating and living in Manhattan.

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Man vs. Corpse

On art and dead bodies.

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The Embassy of Cambodia

A neighborhood, a building, and a woman's precarious existence at the periphery.

"No doubt there are those who will be critical of the narrow, essentially local scope of Fatou's interest in the Cambodian woman from the Embassy of Cambodia, but we, the people of Willesden, have some sympathy with her attitude. The fact is if we followed the history of every little country in this world—in its dramatic as well as its quiet times—we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or to apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming. Surely there is something to be said for drawing a circle around our attention and remaining within that circle. But how large should this circle be?"

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Joy

On joy, pleasure and Ecstacy.

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The House That Hova Built

An essay on Jay-Z.

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Hanwell Senior

The history of a relationship between a son and his mostly-absent father.

"He lay down. His spine pressed into the soil a notch at a time, undid him. Upside down was a land of female legs. He was fond of these new bell-shaped skirts, wide enough to crawl under and be kept safe, and wished he had waited to marry, or married differently. He thought, What if I stayed here? Let the sun swallow me, and the orange dazzle under my eyelids become not just the thing I see but the thing that I am, and let the one daisy with the bent stem, and the rose smell and the girl upside down on the pub bench eating an upside-down ploughman's with her upside-down friend be the whole of the law and the girth of the world."

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Speaking in Tongues

A literary exploration of Obama’s voice.

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The Zen of Eminem

A review/interview/profile:

Let's settle on the bald facts: Eminem has secured his place in the rap pantheon.

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Killing Orson Welles at Midnight

On Christian Marclay’s film The Clock.

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E.M. Forster, Middle Manager

On the BBC radio addresses of E.M. Forster: ”For one thing, he won’t call what he is doing literary criticism, or even reviewing. His are 'recommendations' only. Each episode ends with Forster diligently reading out the titles of the books he has dealt with, along with their exact price in pounds and shillings.

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Generation Why?

The difference between a social network and a movie about a social network, and what it says about the Facebook generation.

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Shades of Greene

Zadie Smith on Graham Greene, the master of “ethical ambivalence.”