Zadie Smith’s White Teeth is a delightfully cacophonous tale that spans 25 years of two families’ assimilation in North London. The Joneses and the Iqbals are an unlikely a pairing of families, but their intertwined destinies distill the British Empire ‘s history and hopes into a dazzling multiethnic melange that is a pure joy to read. Smith proves herself to be a master at drawing fully-realized, vibrant characters, and she demonstrates an extraordinary ear for dialogue. It is a novel full of humor and empathy that is as inspiring as it is enjoyable.
White Teeth is ambitious in scope and artfully rendered with a confidence that is extremely rare in a writer so young. It boggles the mind that Zadie Smith is only 24 years old, and this novel is a clarion call announcing the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction. It is a raucous yet poignant look at modern life in London and is clearly the book to read this summer.