Zadie Smith’s White Teeth

A year ago, I had added Zadie Smith’s White Teeth to my reading list. I suppose I would have acquired the book sooner or later, but it was just so lovely to have my friend leave a couple of books behind when she moved back to the US. She left 5 books behind in the office where we both worked (she as an intern, thus leaving me too soon). White Teeth I took the day she brought the books before anyone else from the office could get their hands on it. Later on I also smuggled Albert Camus’ The Stranger, because I realized nobody else was even looking at the books, so I figured I’d rather have it.

It took me a while after this to actually start reading White Teeth, as I liked to mix genres and authors to avoid getting repetitive (otherwise I would be tempted to read all Terry Pratchett’s at once, which could be great, but then I do need some variety).

But, long story short, I finished White Teeth, and one of the things that amazed me was the fact that Zadie Smith was very young when she finished it (she was in her final year in Cambridge), and was very successful (as in it won Guardian First Book Award, Whitbread First Novel Award, and Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book). Not bad, huh? One of those cases when I read this and thought that I still haven’t accomplished much.

I am not going to even attempt talking about a book as a review. I enjoyed it. A lot. I thought it was refreshing, both in the sense that Smith’s langauage and her way of telling the story, and in the sense of the story. I liked Smith’s idea that every existence, however mundane, is worth analysing. And the result is entertaining as well as thought-provoking, as Smith explores issues like race, religion and all that is related to being an immigrant in the background of the story.

Going to read On Beauty, Smith’s third book, at some point in the future. But next is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.


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