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LIVE from the NYPL: Speaking in Tongues: Zadie Smith

December 5, 2008

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The Robert B. Silvers Lecture

What does it mean when we speak in different ways to different people? Is it a sign of duplicity or the mark of a complex sensibility? Zadie Smith takes a look at register and tone, from the academy to the streets, through black and white, with examples (Elizabeth I, Shakespeare, Humbert Humbert, Obama).

About Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975. Her first novel, White Teeth, won the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Smith's other works include The Autograph Man and On Beauty. She has also written a non-fiction book about writing entitled Fail Better.

 

  

  

About The Robert B. Silvers Lecture

The Robert B. Silvers Lecture is an annual series created by Max Palevsky in recognition of the work of Robert B. Silvers, editor of The New York Review of Books, of which he was a founder in 1963. The series features contemporary people whose fields correspond to the broad range of Mr. Silver?s interests in literature, the arts, politics, economics, history, and the sciences.