Book review: NW, By Zadie Smith
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Friday 28 June 2013
Smith's Women's prize shortlisted novel returns her to home turf: Willesden, the north west corner of London in which she was raised and on whose streets her protagonists' lives intersect first as council estate kids, then drift apart and intersect again over intervening decades, into adulthood and family life.
It is a simple conceit but Smith gives us a subtle, complex and compelling slice of urban life, with its class-riddled comprised choices, its pitch-perfect ear for dialogue and its tragically disenfranchised lives.
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