Zadie Smith’s On Beauty

“And 83 Langham is a fine middle-class house, larger even than it looks on the outside, with a small pool out back, unheated and missing many of its white tiles, like a British smile.”

Here Zadie Smith describes the shabby New England house which a family lives in — the husband a white Englishman and his wife of 30 years African American. Smith could have simply wrote that the house needed repairs but instead she tells a much richer story by writing paragraphs about exactly how the house is unkempt and what that says about its inhabitants. Smith is a gifted writer of multi-cultural family stories, also the theme she wrote about in her first novel White Teeth. Also, as one reviewer wrote “she’s funny as hell.” I think she’s a fresh voice. What do you think?

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