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Zadie Smith

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Zadie Smith © Roderick Field

Zadie Smith Birth:

Zadie Smith was born Sadie Smith on October 25, 1975 in London.

Zadie Smith Background and Writing:

Zadie Smith was born Sadie to a Jamaican mother and an English father and grew up in a working class part of North West London. As a child, Smith wrote poetry, sang, and tap-danced. She changed her name to Zadie at the age of fourteen, a year before her parents were divorced.

Smith aspired to a career in journalism and studied English Literature at Cambridge. While in college she published several short stories, an initial success that led her to secure an agent for the novel she was writing. She completed that first novel, White Teeth, while still at Cambridge and published it after graduation in 2000.
White Teeth which tackles issues of race and the experience of immigrants in working class and middle class England, became an instant bestseller and won numerous literary prizes including the 2000 Whitbread Book Award nad the Guardian First Book Award.

In 2002, Smith published The Autograph Man, which follows the fortunes of a Jewish-Chinese purveyor of autographs. The Autograph Man, while successful, was far less so than Smith's debut.
On Beauty (2005) was Smith's third novel, and once again focused on the immigrant experience, this time of a mixed-race British-American family living in the U.S. On Beauty won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2005 Man Booker Prize.

In 2009, Smith published Changing My Mind, a collection of previously published essays largely about writing and reading.

Smith married the writer Nick Laird (Utterly Monkey) in 2004 and the couple now live part-time in New York and part-time in London. Late in 2009, Smith gave birth to a daughter, Katherine.

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