Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (Paperback)
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Split into five sections--Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering--Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays, some published here for the first time, reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing on Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani, or Zora Neale Hurston, she brings deft care to the art of criticism with a style both sympathetic and insightful. Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent, and funny--a gift to readers and writers both.
“Smith brings her novelist’s gifts— an eye for detail, a languid turn of phrase— to the essay form.” —The Boston Globe
“Taken together, [these essays] reflect a lively, unselfconscious, rigorous, erudite and earnestly open mind that’s busy refining its view of life, literature and a great deal in between… Smith shows herself in more ways than one to be a very old, empathetic head on ridiculously young shoulders… It’s in her impassioned, compulsively dialectical and endearingly wonkish inquiry into literature that Smith really takes off.”—Los Angeles Times
“It doesn’t seem to matter what she’s writing about—Kafka, her father, Liberia, George Clooney. Just placing anything within the magnetic field of her restlessly intelligent brain is enough to make it fascinating. Smith (White Teeth) has the gift…of showing you how she reads and thinks; watching her do it makes you feel smarter and more observant just by osmosis.”—Time
“Warmly insightful pieces that tease apart knotty strands of human experience… She has an uncanny eye for detail, on the streets of Liberia or at an Oscar gala in Los Angeles.” —O Magazine