Feel Free: Book summary and reviews of Feel Free by Zadie Smith

Feel Free

Essays

by Zadie Smith

Feel Free by Zadie Smith X
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
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Book Summary

From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays.

Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.

Arranged into five sections - In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free - this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network - and Facebook itself - really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes - and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat."

Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive - and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Award, 2018

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. If only all such thoughts were so cogent and unfailingly humane. The author is honest, often impassioned, always sober…Smith's observations are timeless." - Kirkus

"Smith's explicit discomfort with any authoritative stance - 'I have no real qualifications to write as I do' - feels a bit disingenuous, when this collection's chief appeal lies in the revealing glimpses it affords into the mind and creative process of one of the most admired novelists writing in English." - Publishers Weekly br> "In glowing and remarkable prose, Zadie Smith argues out the world we live in. Her approach is fierce and lucid, nuanced and definitive, witty and deeply serious, joyful and hopeful and honest. This book is a tonic that will help the reader reengage with life." - Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree and The Noonday Demon

This information about Feel Free shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Zadie Smith Author Biography

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels White Teeth,The Autograph ManOn Beauty and NW, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006, and NW was shortlisted for the ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Zadie Smith: zay-dee

Other books by Zadie Smith at BookBrowse
  • White Teeth jacket
  • Swing Time jacket
  • On Beauty jacket

8 more...

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