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Extended Audio Sample Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, by Zadie Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,815 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zadie Smith Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Split into five sections—Reading, Being, Seeing, Feeling, and Remembering—Changing My Mind finds Zadie Smith casting an acute eye over material both personal and cultural. This engaging collection of essays—some published here for the first time—reveals Smith as a passionate and precise essayist, equally at home in the world of great books and bad movies, family and philosophy, British comedians and Italian divas. Whether writing on Katherine Hepburn, Kafka, Anna Magnani, or Zora Neale Hurston, she brings deft care to the art of criticism with a style both sympathetic and insightful. Changing My Mind is journalism at its most expansive, intelligent, and funny—a gift to readers and writers both.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bridgett | 2/19/2014

    " Wow. Zadie Smith writes with a clear-headed passion and dry with about everything. I won't pretend that there weren't places in the long tribute to David Foster Wallace where she completely wrote circles around my ability to follow, but even so her charm, candor, and genuine appreciation for the difficult material made me if not anxious to read Wallace, then at least intrigued by the idea of reading Wallace. If the measure of a great essayist is her ability to drag the reader along on any one of her written excursions of discovery, then Smith is a great essayist. Her mind is definitely one this reader wanted to follow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by jen8998 | 2/15/2014

    " There are some lovely essays here and I am certain Zadie Smith is a gifted literary critic. However, at times I felt as though I was reading a comp lit paper. I wish she'd write another novel and was saddened when she wrote that reading her previous work made her nauseous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Josie | 1/20/2014

    " She is better when she doesn't like things than when she likes them. Sometimes her enthusiasm is too much for me and sometimes one feels too much like a student in one of her classes. She often has this adolescent catch of transcendence in her tone that is hard to take. Some of the essays are really great though. I would like people to please stop writing essays about Kafka, I think there are enough now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Michael Borshuk | 1/20/2014

    " A mostly charming read, gathering together a number of Zadie Smith's published journalism and essays in between On Beauty and her new novel, due out this fall. Were it not for the tediously long memorial for David Foster Wallace (38 pages, I think) that closes the book, I might have offered a fourth star, but after so much pleasant reading on literature, film, British life, etc., I was dismayed to be bogged down with a fan's turgid notes on one of her favorite writers. DFW, as much as I admire his intellect and ambition, is not among my favorites and Smith's long quotations from his fiction were an undisciplined departure from an otherwise lovely read. "

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