Tom MacWright

I read Feel Free by Zadie Smith on


Damn Zadie Smith is a good writer. When she writes jokes, they’re laugh-out-loud funny. When she’s pulling up references and stringing together analogies, they connect and feel real. I can’t wait to read more of her books.

I found a lot of this to be enormously relatable - my (lack of) memory is much like hers. Her image of Manhattan is spot on. Her honesty about parenting and time. Not aligned on Joni Mitchell yet, though, maybe someday I’ll see the light.

Even when she’s writing about well-worn subjects like millenials, social media, and Mark Zuckerberg, or Brexit, she finds genuinely new, or at least engaging ways to approach them. And consistently her sentences and words are beautifully chosen.

This is a collection of essays, reviews, autobiographical stories, with an award acceptance speech thrown in. Frankly, I saw this on a shelf in a wonderful book store in Columbus Ohio, remembered that I had been wanted to read something by Smith, and bought it on a whim. Meaning, it’s probably not the typical place to start for her writing, nor the most popular work. I’ll probably read NW or White Teeth next.

Sidenote: this is the fourth book in a row that I’ve given five stars to. I think this is a run of luck and not some change in my disposition. But the pressure is on for the next one.


  • Feel Free by
  • ISBN: 1594206252
  • ISBN13: 9780698178885
  • OCLC: 1020679117
  • Look up with:
  • Published:
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House