Contemplations (Zadie Smith) Book Review

If there is one thing we had plenty of during the confinement, it was time. We, accustomed as we were to walking fast, hardly stopping to look around, with hardly any time for anything or anyone, suddenly found ourselves at home with hours and hours of empty time ahead of us. And what to do with time, when we apparently have plenty of it, when it is imposed on us, can be an arduous task. Zadie Smith reflects on this subject, among others, in her Contemplations.

Review of Contemplations

Contemplaciones Zadie Smith

Contemplations is a short collection of personal essays written during the first months of confinement. Zadie Smith, in an elegant, lucid and intimate style, writes about feelings, thoughts, emotions and some of the criticisms she herself experienced during the pandemic.

But she also makes us reflect on why human beings need to do “something”, on love, on suffering, on how each person tries to occupy that space in different ways according to their circumstances or on the mark that loneliness can leave on us. Because we don’t know for sure what the consequences of the isolation and suffering we are experiencing will be in the future.

what does it mean to submit to a new reality, what place do others occupy when we are alone or, on the contrary, forced to live together? Or what happens to those abused women when they are subjected to confinement with their abuser?

Zadie Smith, with her Contemplations, manages to construct a portrait of a historical moment that, without a doubt, will be remembered for generations.

About the author, Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith (London, 1975) studied English at Cambridge University. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is Professor of Fiction at New York University. She is also the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Hunter, On Beauty, NW London and Swing Times, the book of essays Change Your Mind and the collection of short stories The Book of Others.

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