Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975 and holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the American Academy of Letters and has twice been listed as one of Granta’s ’20 Best Young British Novelists’.

Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers’ First Book Award. The Autograph Man won The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize. On Beauty, won the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. NW, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Swing Time was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and longlisted for the Man Booker 2017. She published her first essay collection, Changing My Mind, in 2009 and her second essay collection, Feel Free, in 2018. Her first short story collection, Grand Union, was published in 2019. In 2020 she published a short essay collection, Intimations. In 2021 Zadie Smith and Nick Laird publish their first children’s picture book, Wierdo, illustrated by Magenta Fox. Her novel The Fraud was published in September 2023.

In 2022 Zadie Smith was awarded the Bodley Medal and the PEN/Audible Literary Service Award. Her first play, The Wife of Willesden, a translation of Chaucer’s ‘the Wife of Bath’ won her Most Promising Playwright at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards 2022. Zadie Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books.  She lives in north-west London.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

On Beauty

by Zadie Smith

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If I don’t read everyday, I am just completely doomed, I’m just completely addicted to it. It’s just something that allows me not to be myself. I think it allows me to be other places amongst other people, and I just get a great joy out of good sentence making. Nothing makes me happier.

Zadie Smith