Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal! A dazzling collection of short fiction Zadie Smith has established herself as one of the most iconic, critically respected, and popular writers of her generation. In her first short story collection, she combines her power of observation and her inimitable voice to mine the fraught and complex experience of life in the modern world. Interleaving eleven completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from The New Yorker and elsewhere, Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us. Nothing is off limits, and everythingâ??when captured by Smithâ??s brilliant gazeâ??feels fresh and relevant. Perfectly paced and utterly original, Grand Union highlights the wonders Zadie Smit
My reading of Zadie Smith's work seems to fall into two categories: really loved ("White Teeth", "Swing Time") and can't get into at all ("The Autograph Man" and, unfortunately, this short story selection). I
Not for me.
Perhaps the most famous story from this collection is the oft-reproduced, âEscape From New York,â in which Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brandon flee New York City together by car in the aftermath of the 9-11 attacks. Itâs such an outlandish premiss as to almost partake of the zany. There are other near-zany stories, such as âMiss Adele Amidst the Corsets.â Some, such as, âParentsâ Morning Epiphany,â are not stories, per se, but would not look out of place on McSweenyâs Internet Tendency. Some feel like formal narrative experiments, which perhaps like scientific experiments are considered successful whether they confirm or disconfirm an hypothesis.
So, not a lot here to warm to. Although one might nod oneâs head in appreciation at the inspiration and (sometimes) the execution. But I couldnât help thinking, often, that Iâd rather read one of Zadie Smithâs fine essays or finer novels.
And so, only gently recommended.
âIn a matriarchy, youâd hear women boasting to their mates: âI subsumed him in my anus. I really made his penis disappear. I just stole it away and hid it deep inside
It's all in the middle of a story that is obviously written by a person who didn't exploit the material for the sake of igniting shock and awe; in other words, Smith is far away from Bret Easton Ellis and his ilk.
My son asked me if the young man was âsick in the headâ which is our downtown euphemism for batshit crazy, but my daughter 01 who is very, very savvy said, âNo wayâlook at his clothes!â I thought that was an interesting answer. It meant she was becoming an American. It meant she now refused to believe rich people can be batshit crazy.
Some of the conversations between Americans and Jamaicans were good to read. The lack of obvious plot felt fresh and lovely. On the other hand, I'm left with a feeling that I breezed through the stories. They were easily read, for sure, but I won't remember many of them, only the sentiment that this collection left me with. It's a good feeling and I will read Smith again.