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Zadie Smith Quotes:

I tap danced for ten years before I began to understand people don’t make musicals anymore. All I wanted to do was be at MGM working for Arthur Freed or Gene Kelly or Vincent Minelli. Historical and geographical constraints made this impossible. Slowly but surely the pen became mightier than the double pick-up time step with shuffle.

Zadie Smith

I never attended a creative writing class in my life. I have a horror of them; most writers groups moonlight as support groups for the kind of people who think that writing is therapeutic. Writing is the exact opposite of therapy.

ZADIE SMITH

As far as I’m concerned, if you want to find out about the last day of WWII or the roots of the Indian Mutiny, get thee to a books catalogue.

ZADIE SMITH

My short stories have always pushed twenty pages. That’s no length for a short story to be. You either do them short like Carver or you stop trying.

ZADIE SMITH

I just can’t get used to the idea of being somebody unreal in people’s minds. I can’t live my life like that. And it’s just anathema to being a writer. It’s not healthy.

ZADIE SMITH

My life is black and white and mixed. My mother’s a Rastafarian, my dad was a short white guy – it’s not an affectation. It’s also the lives of millions of people throughout the world.

ZADIE SMITH

Your mid-thirties is a good time because you know a fair amount, you have some self-control.

ZADIE SMITH

Young people understand the world. They should be listened to on matters of politics and world organization. But they know nothing of their own lives.

ZADIE SMITH

The library was the place I went to find out what there was to know. It was absolutely essential.

ZADIE SMITH

You know, you don’t expect everyone to be as educated as everyone else or have the same achievements, but you expect at least to be offered at least some of the opportunities, and libraries are the most simple and the most open way to give people access to books.

ZADIE SMITH

Normally, young writers have all the time in the world and they don’t always use it well.

ZADIE SMITH

People with children will know this: when the childcare is over, it’s over on the dot. You immediately have to go into child mode; there’s no down time.

ZADIE SMITH

My feeling is, having lived in different classes, that people want equality of opportunity… that’s the thing that makes me despair: the idea that people aren’t given equality of opportunity.

ZADIE SMITH

Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

ZADIE SMITH

Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation.’ You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle.’ All that matters is what you leave on the page.

ZADIE SMITH

Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resignyourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.

ZADIE SMITH

Don’t confuse honours with achievement.

ZADIE SMITH

It’s difficult to tell the truth about how a book begins. The truth, as far as it can be presented to other people, is either wholly banal or too intimate.

ZADIE SMITH

I’m most honest about writing when I’m talking to family or friends, not to newspapers.

ZADIE SMITH

One thing you can’t intend is how you will be read. I hear it said a lot that my books are about the ‘search for identity’, and this is said admiringly, as if I meant to encourage such a search.

ZADIE SMITH

Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed.

ZADIE SMITH

Cambridge was a joy. Tediously. People reading books in a posh place. It was my fantasy. I loved it. I miss it still.

ZADIE SMITH

If you’re going to write a good book, you have to make mistakes and you have to not be so cautious all the time.

ZADIE SMITH

You become a different writer when you approach a short story. When things are not always having to represent other things, you find real human beings begin to cautiously appear on your pages.

ZADIE SMITH

There’s constantly this melancholy about British hip-hop. People are always waiting for it to explode like American hip-hop, but it might just be that British hip-hop will always be as it is: an underground thing which will stay that way.

ZADIE SMITH

The roots of rap are originally ghetto-ised or extremely working class. So when you’re an artist who’s making something which isn’t how its mainstream appearance should be, there’s always these strange questions of authenticity and what you have to do to be ‘real’ as a rapper.

ZADIE SMITH

Who is Zadie Smith ?

The English novelist, essayist and short story writer Zadie Adeline Smith FRSL was born on 25 October 1975. Her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), soon became a bestseller and was awarded several prizes. Since September 2010, she has been a tenure professor at the New York College of Creative Writing.