Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays

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Penguin Books Limited, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 320 pages
5 Reviews

How did George Eliot?s love life affect her prose? Why did Kafka write at three in the morning? In what ways is Barack Obama like Eliza Doolittle? Can you be over-dressed for the Oscars? What is Italian Feminism? If Roland Barthes killed the Author, can Nabokov revive him? What does ?soulful? mean? Is Date Movie the worst film ever made?

Split into five sections ? ?Reading?, ?Being?, ?Seeing?, ?Feeling? and ?Remembering? ? Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays ? some published here for the first time ? reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing of Obama, Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani or David Foster Wallace, she brings a practitioner?s care to the art of criticism, with a style as sympathetic as it is insightful.

Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent and funny ? a gift to readers and writers both. Within its covers an essay is more than a column of opinions: it?s a space in which to think freely.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ElizabethAndrew - LibraryThing

Smart, smart, smart. I can't imagine reading literary criticism in bed written by anyone else. Her essay on Obama's capacity to speak multiple versions of English should be assigned college reading. And her memoirs are rich, lively, worth studying. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - snash - LibraryThing

Changing My Mind is a mixed bag of essays, all written with intelligence and insight but many of narrow interest. I found the essays on "Their Eyes Were Watching God", "That Crafty Feeling", Speaking ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and lives in London and New York with her husband and two children.

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