Culture

Read the First Lines of Zadie Smith’s Upcoming Novel, ‘NW’

Culture

Read the First Lines of Zadie Smith’s Upcoming Novel, ‘NW’

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Zadie Smith is one of the biggest, baddest literary games in town, a 36-year-old author who’s way too high profile to appear on the New Yorker‘s 20 under 40. Naturally, NW, her upcoming fourth novel and first since 2005’s On Beauty, joins Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue and Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her as one of the most anticipated book releases of the year. For readers too eager to wait until the fall to break the seal on Smith’s latest, today the Millions posted the opening lines of NW. Take a look below.

The fat sun stalls by the phone masts. Anti-climb paint turns sulphurous on school gates and lampposts. In Willesden people go barefoot, the streets turn European, there is a mania for eating outside. She keeps to the shade. Redheaded. On the radio: I am the sole author of the dictionary that defines me. A good line—write it out on the back of a magazine. In a hammock, in the garden of a basement flat. Fenced in, on all sides.

Doesn’t really say a whole lot about Smith’s tale of four Londoners from a council estate, does it? That’s why they’re just opening lines, after all; folks who are interested in the whole 400 pages will have to pick up NW in the fall.