White Teeth – Zadie Smith – 1999 – 36 – English

Title: White Teeth

Author: Zadie Smith

Original language: English

Translation(s): 36 languages

Context: White Teeth (1999) is a translated invigorating novel by Zadie Smith. White Teeth is a book with an obsession with the past and how it comes back in tricky ways and bites one on the ankle, though the past itself becomes a thing of the past. It spans across a period from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s (taking or giving a few excursions into the more distant past).

Synopsis: The novel is about Samad Iqbal and Archie Jones, two dubious friends who are also the unfortunate veterans of World War II. The two friends and each of their families become agents of the irreparable transformation of England. Archie Jones gets a second lease of life when he marries the second time to a tooth-challenged beautiful Jamaican, named Clara Bowden, half his age. They have a knowing child Irie whose name means ‘no problem’ in Jamaican and the does not quite match her personality at all. The other friend Samad Iqbal gets into an arranged marriage quite late in life. His twin sons follow separate paths despite all efforts of their father to adopt a selective submission to his faith in Islam. While barreling through cultural and racial tapestry in London, venturing across the former empire as well as the past, the novel merrily dives towards the future into modern life’s ecstatic hodgepodge, astonishing expectations, courting with disaster and embraces daily existence comedy.

Other works by the Author:

Novels

2002 – The Autograph Man

2005 – On Beauty

2012 – NW

2016 – Swing Time

Plays

2019 – The Wife of Willesden

Short fiction – Collections

2005 – Martha and Hanwell

2019 – Grand Union: Stories

Stories

2014 – Big Week

2013 – The Embassy of Cambodia

2015 – Escape from New York

2001 – The Girl with Bangs

2007 – Hanwell Senior

2017 – The Lazy River

2013 – Meet the President!

2014 – Moonlit landscape with bridge

2018 – Now More than ever

2012 – Permission to Enter

2016 – Two men arrive in a village

1999 – The Waiter’s Wife

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