The Audio Book Club Visits Zadie Smith’s NW

Discussing new and classic works.
Nov. 30 2012 11:01 AM

The Audio Book Club on NW

Our critics take on Zadie Smith’s novel about four residents of northwest London.

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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.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.

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