On Beauty, by Zadie Smith

The novel, On Beauty, by Zadie Smith was awarded The Orange Prize, in June 2006, which is an award going to the best novel of the year, published in England, and written by a woman.

In On Beauty, Smith’s intensity and insight brings us to the forefront of the issues concerning beauty, and has us questioning and wondering what beauty is actually all about, and how do we define it within today’s cultural diversity. Is it physical, is it emotional, is it cultural, is it intelligence, or is it a combination of all, of some, of those factors. On Beauty is a cultural and psychological study on marriage, politics, self-esteem, infused with bits of humor, and is a must-read.

She has written two previous novels: White Teeth, and also The Autograph Man.
The Autograph Man deals with celebrity, conflict and loss, and how lives are shaped by those factors. This novel has won awards, including the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction. Smith’s insight into obsession and loss, and the need to find answers, the need to know who we are in the scheme of the world, is intense in this excellent novel.

Ms. Smith was born in 1975, in London. Her mother is Jamaican, and her father is English. Her first novel, White Teeth deals with cultural diversity in London, and won several awards, honors and prizes, including multi-culture awards, and the Best Female Newcomer award, to name two. We feel the struggle for identity and love within the brilliance of Smith’s writing. White Teeth goes beyond cultural differences, binding the reader to the novel, nonstop, until we have finished reading it.

~~Book Diva

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