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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Two to take home

Dear everyone,

Shake off those post-Labour Day blues and please, for the love of literature, come get yrselves copies of Zadie Smith's brand new novel NW and the Tavi Gevinson-edited Rookie Yearbook One. In stores TODAY.

Now, I've blabbered on about Zadie Smith's work before -- her essay collection Changing My Mind and the power of On Beauty -- so I was thrilled to sneak a copy out of the store and take it on a beach trip with me.

not the beach!
NW is about four Londoners -- Leah, Natalie (nee Keisha), Felix, and Nathan -- who grew up on the same 'council estate' (public housing section). The story is at times very contemporary-realist-a-la-Franzen-or-Lethem, at times very modernist (reminding me so much of Mrs. Dalloway, which is a very good thing indeed), and at times very much just a really moving/powerful/fascinating exploration of different humans' psyches.

the beach!
I'm about a third of the way through the book, and while I can see why some of the reviewers seem to think it's not her very best work (knotty story-telling, heartbreakingly damaged people), I'm loving it, as they say. It's very dense and very richly told, and I've personally found it very engaging. In any case, a new book by Zadie Smith is worth celebrating, and devouring, at the very quickest of paces. Or savouring, if that's more your style. Any book by Zadie Smith is still much better than half the fiction put out this year, if not more. 

Now, on to the second matter of business...


The incredible, the prescient, the wise and smart and funny and rad third-wave feminist Rookie Yearbook One is FINALLY IN STORES. Don't know Tavi? Well now you do! Want to know why to read this book? Well now you do! But seriously, you guys, try reading those articles and then tell me why a beautifully designed collection of them shouldn't live in your and my and everybody else's house, especially if you have any teenage girls in your life.

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