Monday, August 28, 2006

Zadie Smith - On Beauty

One of the most difficult novels I've read in a while. Although I overlapped with Zadie Smith at university, it was almost as if we were talking different languages. So her descriptions of people near the beginning often didn't make sense in the way that I usually speak and it took a lot longer than it often does for me to empathise with some of the characters.

The basic story is about a mixed-race family living in and around a university in New England, several members of which are going through various crises.

Quite a bit of stuff to think about, and some big themes raised, often to do with what beauty is, difficulties of racial tensions and stereotyping in modern America, mid-life crises and teenage rebellion. But I wouldn't class it as a great novel...

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