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Publisher's Summary

Split into five sections - Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering - Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays, some published here for the first time, reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians, and Italian divas. Whether writing on Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani, or Zora Neale Hurston, she brings deft care to the art of criticism with a style both sympathetic and insightful. Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent, and funny - a gift to readers and writers both.

©2009 Zadie Smith (P)2009 Penguin

Critic Reviews

“Smith writes with a beguiling mix of assurance and solemnity, borrowing her vocabulary from many intellectual and cultural sources... Smith’s native intelligence, however, seems so formidable that you can’t help hoping she’ll change her mind yet again.” (The New York Times Book Review)
 

"Smith brings her novelist’s gifts - an eye for detail, a languid turn of phrase - to the essay form.” (The Boston Globe)

"[These essays] reflect a lively, unselfconscious, rigorous, erudite, and earnestly open mind that's busy refining its view of life, literature, and a great deal in between." (Los Angeles Times)

What listeners say about Changing My Mind

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There may be truths on the side of life

"There may be truths on the side of life."
- Saul Bellow, quoted in Zadie Smith's Changing My Mind

I love Zadie Smith. But not in any of the Greek formal ways. I love her in multiple ways, spilling over each other. I love her brain. I love her prose. I love how closely she reads. I love how different her perspectives are to mine and how similar AT THE SAME TIME. She reminds me why I love writing, movies, Nabokov, DFW, family and why I need to love all these things and more -- better. She began these essays with an essay about Zora Neal Hurston that bounced around the idea of her loving ZNH as only a black woman can and she ended these essays with a lengthy tribute to DFW and his collection of stories Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. She showed me how, even with reading almost all of DFW, I'm still a novice. That my reading skills lack and that Zadie Smith, is also (as cliched and ironic as this sounds in a post-Obama, Brexit/Trump era) almost post-racial (not really, but she is larger than most categories people would want to shove her into.

This collection is broken into the following sections:

READING
1. Their Eyes Were Watching God: What does Soulful Mean? - ✶✶✶✶✶
2. E.M. Forster, Middle Manager - ✶✶✶✶✶
3. Middlemarch and Everybody - ✶✶✶✶
4. Rereading Barthes and Nabokov - ✶✶✶✶✶
5. F. Kafka, Everyman - ✶✶✶✶
6. Two Directions for the Novel - ✶✶✶✶✶

BEING
7. That Crafty Feeling - ✶✶✶✶✶
8. One Week in Liberia - ✶✶✶
9. Speaking in Tongues - ✶✶✶✶✶

SEEING
10. Hepburn and Garbo - ✶✶✶✶✶
11. Notes on Visconti's Bellissima - ✶✶✶
12. At the Multiplex - ✶✶✶✶✶
13. Ten Notes on Oscar Weekend - ✶✶✶

FEELING
14. Smith Family Christmas - ✶✶✶✶✶
15. Accidental Hero - ✶✶✶✶✶
16. Dead Man Laughing - ✶✶✶✶

REMEMBERING
17. Brief Interviews iwthh Hideous Men: The Difficult Gifts of DFW - ✶✶✶✶✶

7 people found this helpful

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my first audio book

this was the first audio book I've listened to and it was a good one. I likes the essay format become I didn't have to keep track of a story and could pause it when I needed to and easily remover where I was in a few minutes because it wasn't a large story. I loved the reader, she has a great voice, it is clear and articulate, she really brings the charm of the writing.

1 person found this helpful

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bland and nutritious

I could barely finish except when Smith inserted her personal experience. brilliant literary criticism was lost in a bored narrator's drone.

1 person found this helpful