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“Changing My Mind”

Changing My Mind: Occasional EssaysIn her first nonfiction collection, the author of “White Teeth” and “The Autograph Man” tackles topics as varied as the characters that people her novels. “Changing My Mind” is a mixture of Zadie Smith’s essays and criticism written over the past decade—in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “musings of an open, lively mind.” A mixture of literary criticism, social commentary, and personal anecdotes, the book is divided into four sections: “Reading,” “Being,” “Seeing,” and “Feeling.” The New York Times says that the essays’ “quirky pleasures derive from Smith’s own critical persona — always bold, jauntily self-reflexive and amusing — and her inspired cultural references.” In his glowing review for The Observer, Peter Conrad says, “The critical arguments in which Smith engages are as vital and as potentially violent as sexual wrestling matches.” Indeed, these essays are not for the complacent reader. Continues Conrad, “It’s good to know that, while my body rusts, I can keep my mind stretched and nimble by reading Zadie Smith.”


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