I read this book because I love Zadie Smith, and I liked that it was written during the original quarantine. That time was such a blur. It doesn’t seem that long ago but now it’s been almost two years, so it’s interesting to look back at it from her perspective as a Londoner in teaching and writing and living in New York City.
These are short essays that are about noticing your place in the world. Her state of being while being massaged or being remembered or being annoyed. Coronavirus coming out forced your worldview and your place in the world to change and update. I liked the essay about racism as a virus–that it started during slavery and has transformed and yet still lives on now all over. It’s something infectious that can’t just be avoided away.
I also liked her musings on reasons to write or do anything really. It’s pretty true that it’s just something to do. No great big logic behind the actual action. That’s usually what I say when people ask why I read so much. It’s something to do. And I’m like Smith, having a book in my hand at any given minute lol. I had a guy ask me the other day what I like to do (knowing I read and write and teach) and I was like that is what I like. I do what I like to do.
Best line: The devil is consistent, if nothing else. -Zadie Smith p 12
Right now I have one of Zadie Smith’s other books available at my bookstore Ten Dollar Books. Click here to see more about NW.