Zadie Smith’s other lives

In May, UNCG University Libraries hosted bestselling author Zadie Smith for a reading and public conversation. The event in Cone Ballroom, attended by 500 community members, was one of the two largest included in Greensboro Bound, a city-wide literary festival. Smith is the author of critically acclaimed novels “White Teeth,” “On Beauty,” and “Swing Time,” as well as two books of essays. She received the 2018 National Critics Circle Award, and is a writing professor at New York University. Among other topics, Smith spoke on the profound effect a good book can have.

“I feel when I’m reading and I’m really engrossed in something that I lose myself for a little bit, which is a good experience,” she said. “It’s a good experience not to be caught in my subjectivity, my desires, and my needs and to be attentive to somebody else’s consciousness, somebody else’s ideas – parse through their sentences, see the world as they see it. When I step out of the writing and into the world again, something has changed.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photograph by Martin W. Kane


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