New York Times bestselling novelist Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother and graduated from Cambridge in 1997. Her acclaimed first novel, "White Teeth," is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethnically diverse families. The book won many awards, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and two awards from the Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy. Smith’s "On Beauty" was one of the New York Times’ “10 Best Books of 2012.” Since her debut novel, Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She regularly contributes to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. Just released in February, her collection of essays, "Feel Free," offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as her own life. Smith is a tenured professor of creative writing at New York University.
Presented in partnership with the Department of English Visiting Writers Series and the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech in celebration of its 25th anniversary