Essay about Smith 's Exploration Of Willesden

803 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 4 Pages
The simply titled NW is anything but; discordant, haunting and profoundly moving, Smith’s highly anticipated new novel delivers an intimate portrayal of life in the English area of Willesden. Smith’s exploration of Willesden, manifested through the experiences of four main characters, (Leah, Felix, Keisha (eventually known as Natalie) and Nathan) manages to encompass an unexpectedly global perspective on that which makes us human. NW is brimming with—and in certain instances, overwhelmed by, complex characterization, stylistic versatility, and a veritable treasure-trove of various literary techniques. I, unquestioningly, am not nearly intellectual enough to have fully grasped the contents of this book. Truthfully, the only person capable of understanding the hundreds of nuanced eccentricities mastered by Smith is…well, Smith herself. With deliberate abandon, NW seems to make a point of breaking every rule considered standard practice in novel writing: plot, fluidity, dialogue, structure and readability.
Unafraid to challenge her readership, Smith requires a certain level of devotion to her text, combining profound insight with a barrage of differing linguistic tactics. Avoiding this commitment, however, would result in a lost opportunity. NW is, regardless of how you interpret it after completion, (the novel is nothing if not polarizing amongst casual readers and her literary elites alike) worth reading. Deeply compelling much of the time, and thought provoking in even…

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