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Av Zadie Smith
North West London comes vividly to life in "NW", the new novel by the author of the bestselling "White Teeth" and Man Booker-shortlisted "On Beauty". This is the story of a city. The north-west corner of a city. Here you'll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others 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 a 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 of 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. Depicting the modern urban zone - familiar to town-dwellers everywhere - Zadie Smith's "NW" is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.
A novel about London life. It follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated.
NW is Zadie Smith's masterful novel about London life. Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic NW follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives.
From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel.
A portrait of modern urban life, NW is funny, sad and urgent - as brimming with vitality as the city itself.
Praise for NW: "Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens's legitimate daughter". (Boyd Tonkin, Independent).
"Astonishing, dazzling. Really - without exaggeration - not since Dickens has there been a better observer of London scenes. Zadie Smith is a genius. It's hard to imagine a better novel this year - or this decade". (A.N. Wilson).
"Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year". (Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph).
"Absolutely brilliant. So electrically authentic". (TIME).
"Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy, like London. She's up there with the best around". (Evening Standard).
"Marvellous ...crackles with reflections on race, music and migration. A lyrical fiction for our times". (Spectator).
"Undeniably brilliant ...rush out and buy this book". (Observer).
Zadie Smith was born in north-west 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.
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