Feel Free: Essays

Feel Free: Essays

From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays

Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right.

Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat."

Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.

Title:Feel Free: Essays
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    Feel Free: Essays Reviews

  • Warwick

    Though I still haven't read any of her fiction, I really feel, on the strength of these essays, that Zadie Smith is My Kind Of People. Her tone and references and outlook on life seem intimately famil...

  • Sean Barrs

    “Writing exists (for me) at the intersection of three precarious uncertain elements: language, the world, the self.” I love this quote and I’d gladly write my own essay with that as the star...

  • Michael

    A five-part collection of cultural criticism, personal essays, and political writings, Feel Free showcases Zadie Smith's versatile range as a writer. Smith takes on many topics, from Brexit and the po...

  • Trish

    The essays in this book have been published before, mostly in the New York Review of Books and The New Yorker, but it is quite something to see and read them all together. One has the impression of a...

  • Roman Clodia

    A mixed collection of essays: the best are when Smith is discussing issues of politics (the closure of public libraries, the Brexit vote) where she brings a personal intimacy to national questions. Le...

  • Khush

    Zadie Smith must have felt freer in writing this book. She deals with a broad range of issues. There is no single theme that runs through them. There are essays that are quite ordinary. I have expecte...

  • David

    Zadie offers up a collection of her essays here but what's interesting it that she notes in the foreword that all of them were written during the Obama presidency and therefore a product of an already...

  • Lori

    Read as one book it's a bit much to spend all that time in someone else's head, but enjoyed these essays....

  • Zachary F.

    "Readers who prefer their ideologies delivered straight—and straight-faced—will find [Zadie Smith] a frustrating read. To [Smith] the world is weird and various, comic and tragic. If this mixed...

  • Julie

    I just found a writer that I absolutely adore. I will read everything Smith writes from now on. I'm slightly embarrassed that I haven't read her until now. If you read nothing else in this book of ess...