Changing my mind is an essay collection by Zadie Smith. There is a new one out called Free, this is the one she wrote before Free, (back when Obama was still president. This fact will depress you). The collection of essays is a mix between articles, lectures and auto-biographical snippets. As far as essay-collections go this is a pretty mixed bag. It deals both with authors, film, her father, and her blackness.
“Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own.”
It is pretty aptly named, because in subsequent interviews she has, indeed, changed her mind about some of her viewpoints, but it also refers to her education, how we as humans can change and develop our minds.
“It’s such a confidence trick, writing a novel. The main person you have to trick into confidence is yourself. This is hard to do alone.”
Not all of her essays were equally interesting, though that is due to no fault of Smith’s. It really depends on whether you’ve read/seen the art she’s referencing. I enjoyed the chapters on Zora Neal Hurston and Kafka, but I’m probably never going to read David Foster Wallace. Smith’s thoughts did not change my mind on this.
“I once overheard a young white man at a book festival say to his friend, “Have you read the new Kureishi? Same old thing—loads of Indian people.” To which you want to reply, “Have you read the new Franzen? Same old thing—loads of white people.”
I love Zadie Smith. Her novel On Beauty is still stuck with me. She’s the kind of author you read and she becomes part of you. If you’re more well-read and well-seen (?) than me you’ll definitely enjoy it more, but you can’t read it without changing your mind. That’s just what Zadie Smith does to you.
CBR10Bingo: Underrepresented. Zadie Smith is a black female author…who’s book I already owned.