An Analysis of White Teeth by Zadie Smith

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Zadie Smith's multicultural, post colonial novel has been widely discussed in the literary world. At the age of 25, Zadie Smith captures the immensely believable lives of an aging Bangladeshi Muslim man, a too-concerned middle-class white woman poking her nose in all the wrong business, and an adolescent half-Jamaican girl with self-esteem issues. Over the span of about 30 years, the three families in the book undergo a wide web of separate but somehow connected circumstances, and Smith became an award- winning author because of her writing. It is not to say that Smith has not gone through criticism. Here's what one review had to say about the (at the time) budding author: "This kind of precocity in so young a writer has one half of the audience standing to applaud and the other half wishing, as with child performers of the past (Shirley Temple, Bonnie Langford et al), she would just stay still and shut up. White Teeth is the literary equivalent of a hyperactive, ginger-haired tap-dancing 10-year-old." (Moss) The review is pointed and scathing, nevertheless, it is necessary to keep two things in mind when considering if the review's argument is valid. One, White Teeth was the recipient of at least ten awards, not to mention was placed on Time Magazine's list of “100 All Time Novels”, a list of the English language's best novels spanning back to 1923. And two, that word in the publishing industry says that Smith had written that review herself (Moss). In that case, we can disregard her self-depreciation; as it goes, no one is a worst critic of their work than one's own self. But there is merit to some of the quote's sentiments. Precocity and hyperactivity are very accurate adjectives for ... ... middle of paper ... ...adie Smith." European Journal of English Studies. 173-188. Routledge, 2004. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. Moss, Stephen. “White Teeth by Zadie Smith”. guardian.co.uk. The Guardian, 26 Jan. 2000. Web. 26 April 2011. O' Grady, Kathleen. “White Teeth: A Conversation with Author Zadie Smith”. Atlantis: A Women's Studies Journal. Vol. 27.1. 105-111. Web. 28 Apr. 2011. Smith, Zadie. White Teeth. New York: Random House, Inc., 2000. Print. Squires, Claire. Zadie Smith's White Teeth: A Reader's Guide. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2002. E-book. Williams, Joseph M., and Gregory G. Colomb. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 10th ed. Columbus: Pearson Eductation, Inc., 2010. Print. Wood, James. "Human, All Too Inhuman." New Republic 223.4 (2000): 41-45. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.

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