The Audio Book Club on NW
Our critics take on Zadie Smith’s novel about four residents of northwest London.
Posted Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 11:01 AM
To listen to the Audio Book Club discussion of NW, click the arrow on the player below.
This month, Slate Book Review editor Dan Kois, DoubleX editor Hanna Rosin, and Brow Beat editor David Haglund visit the London of Zadie Smith’s fascinating novel NW. The three discuss the novel’s wild stylistic and tonal shifts; its view of race, class, and fate in the council estates of London; and how it was predicted by Smith’s famous 2008 essay, “Two Paths for the Novel.” And they even Google Map a bunch of the book’s northwest London locations and find them exactly as described in the book—a truly modern novel, as Rosin notes, “meant to be Googled.”
Next month’s Audio Book Club selection is Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo, winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction and, like NW, one of the Slate Book Review’s Top 10 Books of 2012. Read Elaine Blair’s review from the February SBR, pick up the book, and join the Audio Book Club on Jan. 4 for our discussion.
Dan Kois is a senior editor at Slate and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.
Hanna Rosin is the author of The End of Men, a co-founder of Slate's DoubleX and a senior editor at the Atlantic. She can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook or visit her website.