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Grand Union: Stories (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Pretty much, if Zadie Smith’s name is on it, I’m in. I loved Swing Time and Feel Free and signed up as soon as I heard she’d be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Greensboro Bound Literary Festival. She is one brilliant wordsmith, both on paper and in person. I approached her new story collection, Grand Union, with skepticism. How could she be good at everything? She is. I finished the collection at the end of a day full of family and friends celebrating an upcoming birth and woke the next morning to the news that there had been not one, but two mass shootings in the twenty-four hours I had been away from the television. Smith’s stories contain visions of the future that echo the horrors of this present; yet she inserts just enough humor to keep me from falling into the abyss. Some of the stories read like free-writes, riffs from the mind of a compelling writer, and others drift into absurdity, like the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando escaping from the carnage of 9/11. And now, I will wait for a collection of poetry from her, because, well, Zadie Smith.

— Mamie


A dazzling collection of short fiction

Zadie Smith has established herself as one of the most iconic, critically respected, and popular writers of her generation. In her first short story collection, she combines her power of observation and her inimitable voice to mine the fraught and complex experience of life in the modern world. Interleaving eleven completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from The New Yorker and elsewhere, Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.

Nothing is off limits, and everything—when captured by Smith’s brilliant gaze—feels fresh and relevant. Perfectly paced and utterly original, Grand Union highlights the wonders Zadie Smith can do.

About the Author

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Praise For…

“Nineteen erudite stories wheel through a constellation of topics, tones, and fonts to dizzying literary effect…Wit marbles Smith’s fiction…Several of Smith’s stories are on their ways to becoming classics.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Smart and bewitching…The modern world is refracted in ways that are both playful and rigorous, formally experimental and socially aware…Smith exercises her range without losing her wry, slightly cynical humor. Readers of all tastes will find something memorable in this collection.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780525558996
ISBN-10: 0525558993
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: October 8th, 2019
Pages: 256