Thursday, August 03, 2006

Admitting I was wrong about Zadie Smith

I am a very tolerant and broadminded person. Very. But possibly that comes at the cost of my very few totally irrational and vituperative prejudices. As in my feelings (unprintable) about kitchener stitch, long-tailed cast on, Kate Humble. And until this morning Zadie Smith. Well, not her, personally. Her books. Which I had never read any of (ouch). But I can change, and admit to my change (perhaps, though, not about Kate Humble. I hope.)

When "White Teeth" came out, to great acclaim, many glowing reviews, brouhaha in general, I really did not like the sound of it. I can't, now, remember one word that was said, but I acquired at that point a very deepseated notion that it was Not A Book That I Would Ever Want To Read. So I didn't. I kept hearing Zadie Smith on the radio, and thinking how intelligent and personable and funny she sounded, what a shame she wrote such dreadful books. Which I had never &etc. Mind you, I used to feel exactly the same about Alan Clark - who is this erudite and sensible man, I would think, before his name was mentioned and I blushed fiery red with shame. But we won't go there.

Move forward a few years and a few books, and I am scratching around on the mobile Library van for something to read, and not only that but something to show the snip of a new assistant that I can read things other than Janet Evanovich and Kkkkkatie Fffffforde. (Although, I do like them, and Maeve Binchy and Charlotte Bingham and Jilly Cooper, and Kathy Reichs now you know another of my guilty secrets.) My eye, closely followed by my hand, falls on "The Autograph Man". By Zadie Smith. I take it.

It sits on my shelf. Sits and sits. Until finally this morning, I have read all the other library books I have to try, I can't risk the young snip asking me what I thought. "Couldn't be arsed, I have an irrational prejudice" would not be an adequate answer.

Now, so far, I have only got to page twenty. I have laughed more than at any book for a long time, and am drooling at the quality of the writing. This author is intelligent and personable and funny. Who is it? Er - Zadie Smith. Say again? Oh, all right, I admit it. I Was Wrong. Zadie, I apologise. I am your newest. Biggest fan. After twenty pages of one book.

Who knows, I may even try "White Teeth" next.

Fibre pursuits are being pursued. I continue to knit, in a fairly gallopy fashion, on the Noro shawl. It is too easy even for me, and boring. It will get a little more interesting soon, but my next project will be just a tad more challenging, by my standards. I have spun a little more of the Jacob. Quite fun, and rather soothing. The other spinning at present is some alpaca top, very nice, which I will move back to if the weather as is promised and as seems to be happening, improves.

Now, there was something else. Whatever was that? (Terrible how the memory starts failing as you get older. Much older, rapidly. Something to do with fibre, and colour........

Oh, yes.

More blue

I do so hope that no-one is disappointed. It is rather subtle, no? Just three patches. And it is all a cheat - this isn't a dye job, it is hair extensions.

I am, you realise, still working on growing old disgracefully, which I do so enjoy.

Actually, I could do with some suggestions for my next trick.......

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