• Evangeline Lawson

Grand Union by Zadie Smith



"He could not get over how well he was handling the apocalypse so far. Sure, he was terrified, but, at the same time, oddly elated and—vitally—not especially medicated, for his assistant had all his stuff, and he hadn't told her he was escaping from New York until they were already on the road, fearing his assistant would try to stop him, as she usually tried to stop him doing the things he most wanted to do. Now he was beyond everyone's reach. He struggled to think of another moment in his life when he'd felt so free." "Escape from New York" from Grand Union Stories by Zadie Smith


Like Zora Neale Hurston, Zadie Smith has the gift of writing dialogue in a way that brings the reader in. Being that she is originally from the U.K., she has a way with regional dialect, that more authentically reveals the culture of a place that extends beyond just a description of a setting.


What makes this collection of short stories brilliant, is that they move around and are not dependent on one another for context. Early on in the book, you might be on a college campus in the U.K. witnessing unbridled love, but then end up in New York within a dystopian tale set during an apocalypse. The latter being one of my favorites because (possible spoiler alert) I'm pretty sure the characters are supposed to be Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando.


Despite the disconnected feel of the narratives, as stories were in many ways unrelated, I really appreciated how this book of short stories flowed. And yes I did jump around, but with the conclusion of each story, I was left wanting to read another one to see where Sadie's imagination would take mine. #blackhistorymonth


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