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<b><i>New York Times </i>Ten Best Books of 2012</b><br><br><b>“A boldly Joycean appropriation, fortunately not so difficult of entry as its great model… Like Zadie Smith’s much-acclaimed predecessor <i>White Teeth </i>(2000), <i>NW</i> is an urban epic.” --Joyce Carol Oates, <i>The New York Review of Books</i></b><br><br>This is the story of a city.<br><br>The northwest corner of a city. Here you’ll find guests and hosts, those with power and those without it, people who live somewhere special and others who live nowhere at all. And many people in between.<br><br>Every city is like this. Cheek-by-jowl living. Separate worlds.<br><br>And then there are the visitations: the rare times a stranger crosses a threshold without permission or warning, causing a disruption in the whole system. Like the April afternoon a woman came to Leah Hanwell’s door, seeking help, disturbing the peace, forcing Leah out of her isolation…<br><br>Zadie Smith’s brilliant tragi-comic new novel follows four Londoners - Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their London is a complicated place, as beautiful as it is brutal, where the thoroughfares hide the back alleys and taking the high road can sometimes lead you to a dead end.<br><br>Depicting the modern urban zone – familiar to town-dwellers everywhere – Zadie Smith’s <i>NW</i> is a quietly devastating novel of encounters, mercurial and vital, like the city itself.
<strong>Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2012:</strong> Zadie Smith's <em>NW</em>, an ode to the neighborhoods of northwest London where the author came of age, feels like a work in progress. For most writers, that would be a detriment. But in this case, the sense of imperfection feels like a privilege: a peek inside the fascinating brain of one of the most interesting writers of her generation. Smith (<em>White Teeth</em>, <em>On Beauty</em>) plays extensively with form and style--moving from screenplay-like dialogue to extremely short stories, from the first person to the third--but her characters don't matter as much as their setting. Smith is a master of literary cinematography. It's easy to picture her creations, flaws ablaze, as they walk the streets of London. --<em>Alexandra Foster</em>