Why this book?
Zadie Smith published this novel when she was only twenty-five, a fact that fills me with envy and awe—it’s too good to have been written by someone so young! I first met it when I was about the same age, have returned to it many times, and only love the book more each time I read it. The voice is big and daring and outrageously funny. The characters are real in both the loveliest and cringiest of ways. The novel spans centuries and at least three continents, but what I love most about the book is its verve: you never know where the narrative is going to take you next.