On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Book Analysis) - Bright Summaries - ebook

On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Book Analysis) ebook

Bright Summaries

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Unlock the more straightforward side of On Beauty with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!

This engaging summary presents an analysis of On Beauty by Zadie Smith, which tells the story of two feuding families, the Kipps and the Belseys, and the shifting relationships between their members. Monty Kipps and Howard Belsey, the patriarchs of the respective families, maintain a tense professional rivalry even as their wives become close friends and their children study at the same university. On Beauty was partly inspired by Howards End by E.M. Forster, and is Smith’s third novel. Her other works include the novels White Teeth and Swing Time, and the essay collections Changing My Mind and Feel Free.

Find out everything you need to know about On Beauty in a fraction of the time!

This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you:
• A complete plot summary
• Character studies
• Key themes and symbols
• Questions for further reflection

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Born in London in 1975.Notable works:White Teeth (2000), novelNW (2012), novelFeel Free (2018), essay collection

Zadie Smith is a British author who shot to fame at the tender age of 24 after her debut novel, White Teeth, was published to rave reviews and won a slew of awards. A string of critically acclaimed novels, short stories and essay collections followed, including her most recent novel, Swing Time, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize (her second nomination after On Beauty was shortlisted in 2005). She is also a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

Smith, who changed her name from Sadie to Zadie aged 14, grew up in Willesden before reading English Literature at Cambridge. Her novels tend to incorporate characters with similar life experiences to herself (for example, much of her fiction is set in north-west London and features characters of British-Jamaican heritage) although she has stated that her work is not explicitly autobiographical. She has been hailed as the literary face of multicultural Britain.



Genre: novelReference edition: Smith, Z. (2005) On Beauty. London: Penguin Random House.1stedition: 2005Themes: race, class, religion, art, beauty, sex, relationships, politics

On Beauty is Smith’s third novel and is loosely based on Howards End by E.M. Forster. Smith herself described the novel as an ‘homage’ to Forster, a writer to whose influence she considers herself indebted. The novel was well received by critics and won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in the year of its publication. The novel marked a return to form for Smith, whose second novel, The Autograph Man, had failed to win as many plaudits as her critically adored debut White Teeth.

On Beauty tells the story of two families, the Belseys and the Kippses, who come from opposite sides of the political and spiritual divide and whose lives gradually become more and more entwined. The Belseys are liberal atheists, headed by African American matriarch Kiki and her white British professor husband Howard, who are based in the fictitious university town of Wellington, near Boston. The Kippses are headed by conservative Trinidadian professor Monty Kipps, and are largely based in the UK, though Monty’s work brings the family to Wellington. The novel explores the relationships between individual members of the families against the backdrop of a university town in the racially divided United States.