June 1, 2001
June 1, 2001
Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.
At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.
An Englishman, Archie Jones, and a Bengali Muslim named Samad Iqbal, who first met after World War II in Turkey, encounter each other again 30 years later in the North-West London neighborhood where they live with their families. The daughter of Archie and his Jamaican wife falls in love with Samad's radical fundamentalist son. Archie's sister-in-law is a fervent Jehovah's witness. Samad is plagued by guilt over his affair with his children's schoolteacher. And a nearby Jewish family tries to interfere in their lives. In a stew of often competing multicultural elements, Archie, Samad, and their families struggle to find their identities amid the complexities of the 1970s. Zadie Smith calls her acclaimed novel "a utopian view" of race relations: "It's what it might be and what it should be and maybe what it will be." A New York Times "Editors' Choice" for one of the best books of 2000. Nominated in 2001 for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
- Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Subgenre: Psychology, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Conflicts + Dualities, Literary, General, Love + Relationships + Sex, Religion + Beliefs, Family + Friendship
- Language: English
- Author: Zadie Smith
- Online Item #: 11828293
- Store Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-3763
- ISBN: 9780375703867
- Item can be gift wrapped.
- Made in the USA or Imported