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Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

Photo by David Shankbone

Zadie Smith – Life

Acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith (originally Sadie Smith), was born 25 October, 1975 in Brent, London, England. Her mother was Jamaican and her father English. She changed her name from Sadie to Zadie at age 14, when her parents divorced.

Growing up she had varied aspirations: from becoming an actor, to performing as a jazz singer. Smith eventually settled on literature as her subject.

Smith and her husband have two children.

White Teeth

Click here to check out Smith’s acclaimed novel, White Teeth.

Zadie Smith – Work

Zadie Smith is best known for her novels, though she has published a book of essays as well. Her first novel, White Teeth, released in 2000, enjoyed immediate commercial success and critical acclaim. This earned Smith the James Tate Black Memorial Prize for fiction. The novel was adapted to television two years later.

Zadie Smith’s 2005 novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Zadie Smith is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is among the ranks of such authors as J.K. Rowling, and Tom Stoppard. Previous fellows include Samuel T. Coelridge and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Zadie Smith has taught at Harvard University, her alma mater University of Cambridge, and New York University where she is a tenured professor.

Zadie Smith at Cambridge

Zadie Smith studied English literature at King’s College, University of Cambridge. While she was studying, she contributed several short stories to a collection of new student writings. These stories attracted the attention of a publisher, who offered Smith her first novel contract. During her final year at Cambridge, Smith finished the manuscript of her debut novel, White Teeth.

Zadie Smith met her husband Nick Laird at the University of Cambridge. The two were wed in 2004 at the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge.

The Chapel at King's College

King’s College Chapel, where Zadie Smith and her husband were married. Photo by N Chadwick.

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