Author Zadie Smith in conversation with Pico Iyer

Author Zadie Smith in conversation with Pico Iyer title=
Author Zadie Smith in conversation with Pico Iyer
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Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 19:30

“Smith has a knack for unearthing the deeper truths that lie beneath common experience.” The New York Times

“One of this generation’s most vital literary voices.”  – Jeffrey Eugenedes, author of Middlesex

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents an evening with celebrated author Zadie Smith in conversation with Pico Iyer on Wed., Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

British novelist, essayist and short story writer Zadie Smith is known for her unique perspective on contemporary culture, superb dialogue and emotionally rich stories. Smith’s reputation as one of the most important voices of her generation was established with her award-winning debut novel, White Teeth. Smith’s newest novel Swing Time, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is “a multilayered tour-de-force… [that] burnishes her place in the literary firmament” (Los Angeles Times).

About Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She graduated from Cambridge University in 1997 with a degree in English.

Her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth (2000), is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethnically diverse families. The book won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book) and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards (Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer). It was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Author’s Club First Novel Award. White Teeth has been translated into more than 20 languages and was adapted for television broadcast in fall 2002.

Zadie Smith’s The Autograph Man (2002), a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. In 2003 and 2013, she was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 Best of Young British Novelists. On Beauty won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction. NW was short-listed for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named as one of The New York Times 10 Best Books of 2012. Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She published one collection of essays, Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (2009). Her acclaimed novel Swing Time was published in 2016. Her new collection of essays, Feel Free, is slated for publication in February 2018. In 2017, Smith was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters. She is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

About Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer is the author of numerous books about crossing cultures, among them Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk and The Global Soul. An essayist forTime since 1986, he also publishes regularly in Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times and many other publications around the globe. Iyer was born in Oxford, England, in 1957 to parents from India. He was educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. He is the author of more than a dozen books. Since 1992, he has been based in rural Japan while spending part of each year in a Benedictine hermitage in California.

An Evening with Zadie Smith is the inaugural Speaking with Pico series event. Subsequent events in the series include conversations between Pico Iyer and palliative care physician BJ Miller, Brain Pickings curator Maria Popova and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr.

An Evening with Zadie Smith is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Tickets are $20-$35 for the general public or $10 for UCSB students (valid student ID required)

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit

UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges the generous support of SAGE Publishing for its major corporate support of the 2017-18 season.

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