"NW" is Zadie Smith's masterful novel about London life. Zadie Smith's brilliant tragi-comic "NW" follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan - after they've left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they've made, the people they once were and are now, can suddenly, rapidly unravel. A portrait of modern urban life, "NW" is funny, sad and urgent - as brimming with vitality as the city itself. Praise for "NW": "Her dialogue sings and soars; terse, packed and sassy. Smith is simply wonderful: Dickens' legitimate daughter". (Boyd Tonkin, "Independent"). "Astonishing, dazzling. Really - without exaggeration - not since Dickens has there been a better observer of London scenes. Zadie Smith is a genius. It's hard to imagine a better novel this year - or this decade". (A.N. Wilson). "Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year". ("Philip Hensher, "Daily Telegraph"). "Absolutely brilliant. So electrically authentic". ("Time). "Captivating. Funny, sexy, weird, full of acute social comedy, like London. She's up there with the best around". ("Evening Standard"). "Marvellous ...crackles with reflections on race, music and migration. A lyrical fiction for our times". ("Spectator"). "Undeniably brilliant ...rush out and buy this book". ("Observer"). Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels "White Teeth", "The Autograph Man" and "On Beauty", and of a collection of essays, "Changing My Mind". She is also the editor of "The Book of Other People".
Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2012: Zadie Smith's NW, an ode to the neighborhoods of northwest London where the author came of age, feels like a work in progress. For most writers, that would be a detriment. But in this case, the sense of imperfection feels like a privilege: a peek inside the fascinating brain of one of the most interesting writers of her generation. Smith (White Teeth, On Beauty) plays extensively with form and style--moving from screenplay-like dialogue to extremely short stories, from the first person to the third--but her characters don't matter as much as their setting. Smith is a master of literary cinematography. It's easy to picture her creations, flaws ablaze, as they walk the streets of London. --Alexandra Foster