Zadie Smith

The below quote is from Cressida Leyshon’s recent interview with author Zadie Smith about her upcoming novel NW.

[E]very time I write a sentence I’m thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I’ve come to realize that this is an advantage, really: it keeps you on your toes. And it seems clear to me that these little varietals of voice and lifestyle (bad word, but I can’t think of another) are fundamentally significant. They’re not just decoration on top of a life; they’re the filter through which we come to understand the world.

I actually feel that’s applicable to my own own approach to writing. Because of my varied life experiences, the stories I wish to tell will be done through a unique filter, one which will invariably mix the profound and the profane, the secular and the sacred, the bourgie and the ghetto.

What about you? Are you a writer and, if so, do you worry about having to, as Zadie puts it, “think yourself into many places at the same time”? Share your thoughts on this in the comments below.

[The New Yorker]

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