My Someone Once Told me snap & why I *heart* Zadie Smith

alex sotm

A few months ago I had my photo taken by the lovely Mario for his photo project Someone Once Told Me. My quote was this:

“Sometimes it’s good to have a few obstacles in your way, so as not to take things completely for granted. Don’t you think?”

As my video commentary explains (cringe) I think it can be applied to anything from writing fiction to starting a company (and something vague about relationships, if I recall). The quote comes from none other than my all-time favourite writer and one of the people I admire most, Zadie Smith.

Though none of her books are in my Top 3, Zadie Smith is my favourite writer because she get’s better and better with every piece of writing she produces. Whether it’s a short story or lecture analysing Barack Obama’s use of language, every word is considered and every sentence crafted. I can’t think of any other contemporary writer who can produce metaphor, dialogue and characters with her flair – whatever you think about White Teeth.

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Zadie (it’s on my to-do list) but I stumbled across her email address on some writer’s website one evening last April. I immediately scribbled out several fangirlish, rambly and superlative-filled paragraphs on why I thought that The Autograph Man was all sorts of awesome (or words to that effect), pressed send and put all thoughts of a response out of my head.

But the next morning there was a lovely email from Zadie saying, amongst other things, that my email had made her day.  Awesome. She was incredibly modest and seemed to actually enjoy answering my questions.

I cannot wait until her next work of fiction comes out but until then, I’ll settle quite happily for her forthcoming collection of essays. This is one writer I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on and I’m really looking forward to whatever she comes out with next.


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