what new yorkers are reading on the subway

Sunday, July 13, 2008

White Teeth

A Train Manhattan bound between Nostrand and High Street/Brooklyn Bridge
Kylie was reading White Teeth, by Zadie Smith, and I asked her why I knew no men who had raves for the novel and its writer, only women. She didn't know. As a matter of fact, the person who recommended the novel to her--which she had laying around for a year, as she tends to buy more books than she can read at once--was a man. He told Kylie that Smith's newest book, On Beauty, is the best book he's ever read. Just goes to show, probably, that I should get out more. White Teeth is set in England, for those who haven't read it (male and female). It involves two families, one that is half Jamaican and British, and the other Bengali. I have seen the word multi-culturalism connected with this novel. The book has a light tone, says Kylie, who works for a non-profit responsible for the Penny Harvest, which has school children collecting thousands of dollars in pennies. But while White Teeth's writing isn't heavy, she says, the subject matter most certainly is. Now, for full disclosure: I had never met Kylie, but my students raised over $70 for the Penny Harvest this year and won the school pizza party, which for 14 year olds is very significant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't like White Teeth (or Smith's other book) either.

A girl