British author Zadie Smith is a fascinating writer with a fascinating outlook on life. In an age where the term multiculturalism sends most literary scholars' hearts aflutter, this child of a Jamaican father and an English mother doesn't quite see what the big deal is. Sure, she argues, people can come from different backgrounds (they certainly do in her fiction), but does that warrant a full-fledged ideology?
What's more, the polished Smith writes in a way that, although certainly challenging and contemporary, is also reminiscent of some very old school masters (her style reminds me a bit of Fitzgerald's) While it would be easy to say the author represents some kind of huge paradox, Smith just seems to view herself as...herself.
For example, Smith has stated that at one time she wanted to write like Franz Kafka. Yet, despite her determination, she found she simply wasn't built to compose fiction the way that Kafka did. Her talents, she realized, were leading her in a different direction.
Maybe that's why Smith's works, such as the popular White Teeth, resonate so well with readers. Smith understands that what's important is who and what we, as individuals, are – not what our faulty desires or false images may be.
It's a lesson we should all carry with us in our everyday lives.