Zadie Smith’s NW: Discussion, podcast, and book club guide.

The Audio Book Club Visits Zadie Smith’s NW

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.


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 the literary editor of 

Dan Kois edits and writes for Slate’s human interest and culture departments. He’s the co-author, with Isaac Butler, of The World Only Spins Forward, a history of Angels in America, and is writing a book called How to Be a Family.

Hanna Rosin is the co-host of NPR’s Invisibilia and a founder of DoubleX. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.