Zadie Smith is a writer who matters, twenty years now after White Teeth, her breakthrough novel when she was just out of college. Her new one is titled The Fraud: fiction that pops in and out of two centuries. It can feel very Victorian and it can feel very 2023. Frauds, trials, disbelief abounding.
Think of Zadie Smith as the current title-holder in the glorious old lineage of English and American fiction, looking both forward and backward, and sideways, in this new novel about her professional family over the generations: literary ancestors and cousins in the game today. It can feel confessional at one moment, comical the next, stone serious before you’re done. Founders of the Victorian novel turn up in The Fraud. At the same time, she’s addressing the extended family of readers and writers today.
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