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“Strongly recommend this book of six short essays written in the wake of pandemic shut-downs and ensuing isolation and racial injustice and protests. Smith is always a favorite, but this collection is profound, thought-provoking, and one to revisit again and again.”Tina,
Leaves Book and Tea Shop
“Listened to the audiobook of Intimations a full year after COVID-19 began, on the eve of George Floyd's murderer being found responsible, and it is just as powerful now as it would have been at the beginning of the pandemic. Stunning and worth listening to several times.”Nicole,
“We are all living through this moment in history together, and yet somehow, Zadie Smith has captured it in a way I could never have expected. Stunning, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, but oddly hopeful, Intimations is necessary reading (or listening, with searing narration by the author)—the sort that had me pulling off the road as catharsis welled in my eyes.”Britt,
Second Star to the Right
“Zadie Smith’s slim but concentrated Intimations is just what I needed during a pandemic. Our current collective American reality is validated in her intelligent voice, and it’s comforting. She talks about the power writers have to create their own worlds. She talks about suffering—how it defies class and privilege—and how she experiences her own privilege. She talks about “the virus,” and about the virus of racism—how we’re willing to make societal changes to mitigate the spread of one, but not the other. And at the end, a love letter/gratitude list. Listen to the audiobook if you want to hear Zadie Smith sing (literally!).”Mary,
Raven Book Store
“[Smith’s] slim collection of essays captures this peculiar moment with startling clarity. . . . The personal and political intermingle for a powerful indictment of America’s social systems.” —TIME, The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
“While quarantined amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Smith penned six dazzling, trenchant essays burrowing deep into our contemporary culture of disease and upheaval and reflecting on what was ‘once necessary’ that now ‘appears inessential . . .’” —O, The Oprah Magazine, Best Books of 2020
“Smith does more than illuminate what we're going through right now. She offers a model of how to think ourselves through a fraught historical moment without getting hysterical or sanctimonious, without losing our compassion or our appreciation for what's good in other people. She teaches us how to be better at being human.” —John Powers, Fresh Air
A New York Times Bestseller
Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.
Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?
Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next.
The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia, and two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.