Every now and again, if you are a lucky reader, you come across writing that truly changes you. Smith wrote Intimations at the front end of 2020's "global humbling" - a time when America would become "mighty with death", when we would witness George Floyd's murder, when our every day took a shape we were helpless to control. It is a fierce little collection, but one that provides intellectual nourishment and hope, certain to inspire meaningful retrospection. How do we preoccupy ourselves? What is our time, and love, and existence? Is the true virus of our time - contempt for other human beings? Smith has donated all royalties of this book to The Equal Justice Initiative and The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for New York. — Nancy Scheemaker
Smith spun me into her world in the early months of quarantine when life suddenly took an entirely new form. Asking deep questions like, "why do I write?" and answering them with daring, somewhat bleak honesty, this was just the right book for me to read as a creative struggling with similar questions. I feel a sense of gratitude that Smith allowed the reader to be in these moments with her, processing the chaos that ensued at the start of quarantine, honoring her truth that writing is, at its core, just something to do. — Maya Bon
"Intimations captures the uneasiness of our modern moment as Smith reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and relates it to issues of privilege and inequity. Her urgent voice tackles everything from what becomes important during isolation to the global response to George Floyd's killing. The author asks questions, both timely and timeless, about how we respond to crisis and suffering." --TIME, Best New Books of JulyDeeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it? Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each reader to reflect on what has happened--and what should come next. The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.
About the Author
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as two collection of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free, and the short story collection Grand Union. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.