Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays

by Zadie Smith

Paperback

$16.45 $18.00 Save 9% Current price is $16.45, Original price is $18. You Save 9%. View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, February 25

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143117957
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/26/2010
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 364,436
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Zadie Smith was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of White TeethThe Autograph ManOn Beauty, Changing My Mind, NW, and most recently, Swing Time.

Hometown:

London, England

Date of Birth:

October 27, 1975

Place of Birth:

Willesden, London, England

Education:

B.A. in English, King's College at Cambridge University, 1998

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
RidgewayGirl on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Zadie Smith is a British writer who achieved great fame with her first novel, White Teeth. The book was good, but the hype concentrated on the fact that it had been written by a young, beautiful black woman who had grown up on a council estate in Willesden. Her second novel did not do well, and Smith gave a few bitter interviews and then disappeared. She spent that time back in her academic comfort zone (she has a degree from Cambridge) and writing things like movie reviews and magazine articles about her family. She has since brought out another book, On Beauty, which was successful on its own merits and now she has had this book of essays published.Changing My Mind was a very uneven read, and I think she might have been better served by waiting a few years, until there was a better selection of material to chose from. Many of the essays, the ones that discuss authors and books or the ones that talk about her family are amazing. Then there are a few moderately interesting pieces about Liberia and her own writing methods that are worth reading, but not exciting and then there are the bits from when she reviewed movies for a newspaper. Essays about movies, or Hollywood, can be riveting, but Smith has too sharp a mind and, while she seems to like film, isn't a real fan or expert. So this section consists of describing the plots of various movies and there's a sense that she's looking down on the whole endeavor.The essays on literature, however, are fantastic. She has the ability to delve deeply into a topic without talking down to her audience or making it too difficult to understand. I did have to pay attention, especially to the essay on David Foster Wallace, but I was never lost. She discusses Their Eyes Were Watching God, Middlemarch, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Kafka, Nabokov, E.M. Forster and Barthes and each essay was a revelation (to me, at least).
veevoxvoom on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Summary: A collection of Zadie Smith¿s essays submitted to various magazines and venues. The topics range from literary criticism to film reviews to stories about her family.Review: Zadie Smith is so good. I remember reading [White Teeth], knowing that when the author wrote it, she wasn¿t so much older than I was. That blew me away. Now Smith is older and perhaps wiser, and [Changing My Mind] reflects a lot of that. It catalogues some of her changing opinions, both as a reader, a writer, and a person. However, no matter if she is twenty-one or thirty-five, Zadie Smith¿s mind is elegant and agile. It performs like a well-tuned piano ¿ the parts work together seamlessly and what comes out is intellectual music.Her meditation on the middle path of E.M Forster caused me to have a huge crush on him (and dig out my old copy of [Maurice]). Her analysis of Barthes¿ ¿Death of the Author¿ theory and Nabakov¿s larger-than-life authorial persona helped me articulate some of my own ambiguous opinions on authorial presence. Her argument for Kafka as everyman was a refreshing breath of air. Her love song to Zora Neal Hurston made me sniffle. Her film reviews are witty and rigorous. I especially love this line:¿I base this upon the stupidity/pleasure axis I apply to popular artists: how much pleasure they give versus how stupid one has to become to receive said pleasure.¿ (Pg. 168)Is that not perfect?Zadie Smith is the kind of thinker I would like to be. Now, I will point out that [Changing My Mind] is not for everybody. The first section especially seems geared towards those with high literary tastes who have read Eliot and Kafka, and who sit around at dinner parties and talk about things like the death of the author or the future of the novel. Not everybody is into these hyper-literary pretentions. There were certain parts where even I felt a bit alienated, and I¿m normally the perfect audience for these types of thoughts. But that alienation ¿ and fatigue, because there is some of that too ¿ was rare and in between.Conclusion: A wonderful collection of essays. I know that I¿ll be thinking about them for days to come.
bridget3420 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This book is a collection of essays that give you a chance to befriend the author. The book is divided into four sections that are: Reading, Being, Seeing and Feeling. Reading this book made me look at some things a little differently. I started understanding things that I never understood before. At the same time, I was forced to rethink some of my own thoughts because I saw them from a different perspective.If you like to dig deep down and think about the meaning behind life, this is the perfect book to sit down with.
snash on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Changing My Mind is a mixed bag of essays, all written with intelligence and insight but many of narrow interest. I found the essays on "Their Eyes Were Watching God", "That Crafty Feeling", Speaking in Tongues" and the three memoir pieces under the heading of Feeling very good and thought provoking. The rest I found a struggle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mfcufc More than 1 year ago
This collection of essays, speeches and writings from Zadie Smith is designed to make you take a look at the world in a different way. Her literary essays make you rethink your opinions and readings of Nabokov, Kafka, Dostoevsky, Kingsley Amis and Larkin. Having this book on audio takes the hard work out of reading some of the more erudite essays, instead they wash over you leaving you with a far richer impression than if you were reading them yourself, dictionary at hand for disruptive delvings to explain some of the more gothic language she uses. This use of language seems to suggest that this comes from someone else, not the self of the author. She is on much more familiar terms when she talks about her own writing - suddenly the language becomes less structured, freer and we are reaquainted with the author we know, rather than the lecturer we have not met. In the end, we are left with a feeling of someone who understands the theory of writing but is more at home with the craft, preferring the micro-management of writing to the macro-planning. For this we, her readers, are eternally grateful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
This book is a collection of essays that give you a chance to befriend the author. The book is divided into four sections that are: Reading, Being, Seeing and Feeling. Reading this book made me look at some things a little differently. I started understanding things that I never understood before. At the same time, I was forced to rethink some of my own thoughts because I saw them from a different perspective. If you like to dig deep down and think about the meaning behind life, this is the perfect book to sit down with.