I am incredibly excited for Zadie Smith’s new novel, NW. To celebrate, here is a link to her talk at the New York Public Library, reading one of my favourite essays, ‘Speaking in Tongues’. I actually have this clip on my mobile, it is great to listen to while travelling on the train. This essay voices a lot of my thoughts about the creation of personal, social and national narratives, inhabiting and navigating through different worlds, whether it be the duality of the immigrant, or the unsure existence of the educated classes. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.
Speaking in Tongues: Zadie Smith.
Some books featuring London that I enjoy:
- Lights Out in the Territory by Iain Sinclair
- Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
- Small Island by Andrea Levy
- Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird
- White Chapell, Scarlet Tracings by Iain Sinclair
- 84 Charing Cross Rd by Helen Hanff
- Brick Lane by Monica Ali
- The Hanwell Short Stories by Zadie Smith
- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
- Black London: Life Before Emancipation by Gretchen Gerzina
- Absolute Beginners by Colin McInnes
- They Call Me Naughty Lola: Personal Ads from the London Review of Books by David Rose
- The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock by John Harris
- Rodinsky’s Room by Rachel Lichtenstein
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
- A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
- Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
- Voyage in the Dark by Jean Rhys
All of these have revealed a part of the city and its history that have helped me understand it more.Despite my love of both books and London, I have yet to see inside the British Library. I am ashamed.