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Friday, September 09, 2005

Lighten Up, Smith, You're On The Shortlist

Zadie Smith waxes nostalgic about her homeland in an interview with New York magazine (quotes reproduced from the News Telegraph):

"It's the way people look at each other on the train; just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere...When I talk about England now I just think of the England that I loved and it's gone. It's just a disgusting place. It's terrifying. Maybe I'm just getting old....I want to get on the Tube. I want to have a life. I'm not interested in being stared at...I think if you're a woman, your looks are an essential part of you because the world makes them so. When my book came out, how I looked was a topic of conversation...It's incredibly insulting and absurd, but they do it to wind you up, so I have to try not to be wound up by it."

She has kind words for the United States, too: "America's a big country. In America only a few weirdos read. I mean, it seems like a lot of weirdos, but that's because you're a very big country."

Her inspiring advice to aspiring novelists everywhere: "Writing a novel is quite stupid work. In a novel you're never wrong. Novelists aren't intellectuals, they're just intuitive if they're lucky."

Asked by the magazine if she might make the Booker shortlist, she replied: "No, there's no chance. Have you seen the ****ing list?"


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