Posts Tagged: zadie smith

This Week in Short Fiction

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As the story goes, nearly 100 years ago a group of Surrealist artists gathered together and put a new spin on an old parlor game called Consequences. The meeting resulted in their collective authorship of this phrase: “The/ exquisite/ corpse/ will/ drink/ the/ young/ wine.” Now familiar to many writers by the name of “Exquisite Corpse,” the game requires at least three participants who send round a single sheet of paper on which each member, looking only at the entry that came before him or her, makes a written or drawn contribution, folds over the paper, and passes it on to the next person.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Let’s dedicate this week to the publications, editors, and benevolent marketing gurus who unleashed a whole bunch of quality FREE short fiction to us. Under the shadow of the FCC’s impending decision as to whether or not net neutrality will continue, these all-you-can-read buffets taste even sweeter.

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A Serious Man

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In a recently tweeted series of amateur photos, artist and writer Szilvia Molnar satirizes the figure of the cool male writer so often conveyed in author portraits by the presence of a cigarette. Having noticed a discrepancy between the portrayal of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Zadie Smith in promotional photos for a publishing event, Molnar took it upon herself to reveal the manufactured ridiculousness of the serious cool-guy image with selfies that can’t possibly be taken seriously.

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The Book You’re Writing

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In the latest installment of Little, Brown’s “Ask a Debut Novelist,” Ted Thompson addresses the anxieties that spring eternal from the minds of new writers, perfectionism and the specter of Zadie Smith’s superior talent among them. While quality is certainly a worthy pursuit in writing, Thompson advocates a simpler and often more fruitful goal: say what you’re going to say with the best words you can think of to say it.

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The Writer’s Writer

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Karl Ove Knausgaard, the handsome Norwegian writer, is traveling through the U.S. giving talks and readings and interviews. It’s as good a time as any to start reading his 6-part autobiography, My Struggle, especially if you are a writer. As the New York Times reports, Knausgaard’s American counterparts are all raving about this writer—Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorin Stein, Sheila Heti, Zadie Smith, and others are caught up in the brilliance of Knausgaard:

Why has My Struggle so excited the literary world?

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Notable NYC: 11/9–11/15

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Saturday 11/9: The Comic Arts Festival features guest speakers, indie publishers, and self-published comic zines. Mt. Carmel Church -and- The Knitting Factory, 11am to 7pm, free.

Colum McCann reads from his novel Transatlantic (June 2013), presented by Community Bookstore. Brooklyn Public LIbrary, 4pm, free.

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Notable San Francisco: 10/28–11/3

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Monday 10/28: The “On Arts” series, benefiting the 826 Valencia Scholarship Program, presents British author Zadie Smith in conversation with Steve Winn. $27, 7:30pm at Nourse Theater.

Tuesday 10/29: The Moth comes to The Booksmith, featuring an opening story from writer and Moth podcast host Dan Kennedy.

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NW

NW by Zadie Smith

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The fat sun stalls by the phone masts.

This is how Zadie Smith opens her latest novel, NW, and how appropriate–that something so fiery and core-hot, so screaming and universal could appear dumbfounded, loafing, stagnant.

Meet North West London, a relative dystopia from those adolescent promises that London made Smith’s crew of characters.

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Library Lamentations

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“A library is a different kind of social reality (of the three dimensional kind), which by its very existence teaches a system of values beyond the fiscal.”

How do we value libraries? Novelist Zadie Smith writes an essay about the imminent closure of her local library, articulating the roles libraries serve beyond their utilitarian functions, and the political implications of their dismissal.

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The British 20 Under 40

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Great Britain is making its own lists. And Great Britain is still publishing novels.

If you believe the rumors, the raging historical narratives are printed by hand, folded into folios, carried from London’s dust into the countryside in the talons of birds that never made it across the Atlantic, placed on a round table in the middle of Sherwood Forest, then torn open by the teeth of hunting dogs.

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Eliza Doolittle in the White House

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In her essay “Speaking in Tongues” in The New York Review of Books, February 26, 2009, Zadie Smith examines Barack Obama’s doubleness, not just his biracial genetic history but how he inhabits multiple voices. She reviews his first book Dreams From My Father and sees him as an artist as much as a politician, but Smith warns: “For reasons that are obscure to me, those qualities we cherish in our artists we condemn in our politicians.

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