Feel Free by Zadie Smith

Feel Free

From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world's preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a ...

Details Feel Free

TitleFeel Free
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherPenguin Press
GenreWriting, Essays, Nonfiction, Short Stories

Reviews Feel Free

  • Roman Clodia
    A mixed collection of essays: the best are when Smith is discussing issues of politics (the closure of public libraries, the Brexit vote) where she brings a personal intimacy to national questions. Less enticing are the 'musing' essays where Smith responds to artworks, books, or plays with ideas such as how different dancers epitomize styles of authorship. These pieces often have an interesting idea at their heart but they feel unstructured, some...
  • Max Urai
    So: Zadie Smith, it seems, has replaced David Foster Wallace as my new person-to-aspire-to-be writer. Some pretty major shit going on with that right now. More as the story develops.
  • Andre
    ⭐⭐⭐.5 The standout aspect of these essays is the writing is always stunning. It is not difficult to understand why Zadie Smith is hailed in all corners of the literary world. There is an essay where she is talking about Joni Mitchell’s music and the passion rising off the page made me go, search and listen to some Joni Mitchell tunes. Wow. That is the power of effective, great, and passionate reading. The one drawback to this collection i...
  • Lara
    Just gonna say, Some Notes on Attunement is one of the best essays about music I've ever read. I know 100% nothing about Joni Mitchell. I'm sure I've heard something of hers at some point, but I have no idea what, and I've always sort of put her in this camp with U2 and the Beatles and Janis Joplin and Eric Clapton (aka artists that a lot of people really, really love and who are generally considered some of music's greats, but whom I have abso...
  • Molly Ferguson
    This was an advance reading copy graciously lent to me.What is truly amazing about Zadie Smith is her ability to go from "low" culture to high art in one sentence - she'll be musing on Key and Peele or Jay-Z and suddenly launch into a deep discussion of Schoepenhauer, Berger, or Buber. She tackles climate change, Brexit, Facebook, race, the boring parts of parenting, how pleasure is better than joy. Some of the essays in this book were so sparkli...
  • Vivek Tejuja
    My association with the works of Zadie Smith started somewhere in 2003, with White Teeth. It was one of those books that are actually unputdownable (I have always been of the opinion that terms such as these are nothing but marketing gimmicks). Since then, Smith has been one of my favourite writers and with good reason. Her prose is like biting into a plum – tart and sweet and almost awakens you from your stupor. It makes you stand up and take ...
  • Sara
    I love her essays more than her fiction, and always jump to read a new one -- so I'd read about half of these before. And I'd read them again. She's brilliant, she writes beautifully, and has a charmingly open enthusiastic curiosity for so many different things -- art, politics, dance, books, movies, other people.
  • Anne
    This collection of essays spans a diverse range of topics: current events, music, art, books and movies, to name a few of the observations, covering both ends of the cultural spectrum. As an ex-librarian, I especially appreciated the piece on public libraries (‘the only thing left on the high street that doesn't want either your soul or your wallet’) and also the section on other writers. Her review of the work of Magnus Mills (one of my favo...
  • Kate
    I highly recommend this essay collection! I loved getting inside Zadie Smith's head. She's so interesting and writes so well about a huge variety of topics. I particularly enjoyed her two essays on music (about Joni Mitchell and Jay-Z) but I also loved her essays on Brexit, Key & Peele, and a painting by an artist who I'd never heard of. I'm reinspired to pick up some more of her fiction now!
  • Monika
    This was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Reading this felt like having a multitude of genuine and intelligent conversations with Zadie Smith herself. This is only the second book by her that I've read, so while my opinion may change, for the moment I think that I find her non-fiction completely and totally superior. I'll definitely be reading more of her work soon.
  • Anne
    This collection of essays spans a diverse range of topics: current events, music, art, books and movies, to name a few of the observations, covering both ends of the cultural spectrum. As an ex-librarian, I especially appreciated the piece on public libraries (‘the only thing left on the high street that doesn't want either your soul or your wallet’) and also the section on other writers. Her review of the work of Magnus Mills (one of my favo...
  • Catherine
    These topical essays probably aren't classics for the ages; those that I had already read didn't degrade with rereading but didn't reveal further depths, either. However, those that I hadn't read made me glad for this second chance. "Man versus Corpse" and "Meet Justin Bieber!" are particular standouts.
    I love Zadie Smith because I like the way she wrote and the things she wrote, so I really appreciated this collection of essays where are hidden some little masterpieces; some of them are also about Italy and Rome, so I'm partial to them and to the one dedicated to Justin Bieber, because I would have never thought to compare him to Martin Buber.Zadie Smith mi é sempre piaciuta, sia per come scrive, sia per quello che scrive, quindi questa collez...
  • Ellen
    It seems there are two kinds of readers when it comes to Zadie Smith: those who love and admire her writing and those who dislike and are annoyed by it. I typically fall into the former camp: her gift with prose is deft, her intellect fierce, and I get a kick out of the characters she creates in her fiction. Curiously, I'm smack in the middle with this collection of essays. Her keen intelligence glimmers on every page, no doubt, and when she's mu...
  • Ruby
    *3.5 stars*Full Review: https://thereadingruby.blogspot.com/2...It's hard to review a collection of essays - there's not much you can really say without sharing the essays themselves. I'll do my best to capture what I think about the collection as a whole, rather than referring to specific pieces, as this is spoiler-free and pre-release. Firstly, Zadie Smith's writing is very good, she writes beautifully, captivating the readers' attention and ma...
  • Halley Sutton
    My first Zadie. Loved her writing and her intellect--I was so prepared to be irritated by her comparison of Justin Bieber to Martin Buber's I-Thou concept, but in fact ended up loving it--but also felt the Harper's columns were maybe overkill.
  • Salvatore
    Great occasional essays. Even if I wanted her to dive deeper into a subject, Ms Smith vividly captures feelings, thought patterns, and ramblings that pieces of art or works of fiction (and non-) spark. Perhaps a couple of these pieces could be excised without any harm. But turning the pages, I recalled the first time I read these essays and reviews, which made me feel a little old, and perhaps a little too with it.
  • hayden
    i'm on my way to becoming a full-fledged zadieist.side note: why the hell hasn't a short story collection been published? i would throw all my money at that.edit: according to the telegraph, a short story collection is coming next year! f*cking finally.
  • Rachael Mills
    Zadie Smith's sheer intelligence and wit shine through these essays leaving the reader in awe. Inevitably I enjoyed some essays more than others but each essay was insightful and informative. Some subjects were a little obscure for me and not knowing much about them made full understanding impossible. Others were absolutely riveting and demonstrated Zadie Smith's philosophical curiosity.
  • Sandra
    Whatever Zadie Smith writes, I'll read and I'll obsess over.I love Zadie's fiction but I adore her essays. Feel Free is Smith's second essay-collection and it's a fun, electric and poignant one. In it, she approaches a myriad of topics -music, art, politics, literature- and covers both ends of the cultural spectrum in beautifully enthusiastic fashion. "My evidence – such as it is – is almost always intimate. I feel this – do you? I’m st...
  • Danielle
    I enjoyed the first section of this book in which the essays are about current events and things that are happening the world. I didn't so much care for the rest of the book in which Smith writes critical essays about books, music, movies, and more. I suspect part of my issue with that is those is that I had not read or watched the majority of the things she was writing about, so I didn't have much connection with what she was saying.
  • Tom
    Goodreads giveaway winner...Thank you!
  • Ian Smith
    FEEL FREE by Zadie Smith A Penguin Random House publicationReview by Ian SmithThis is a book of essays and, as such, you should prepare yourself by knowing that not all subjects may be familiar to you. It also helps to know that Zadie is a black female born in England but, these days, spends much of her time in America.Thus we find an extraordinary range of subjects from Brexit to rap music. Some of the subjects, such as the latter, I struggled w...
  • Deniss
    Según goodreads, dos estrellitas significa "it was okay". Y pues eso fue lo que pensé de este libro. Estaba muy emocionada porque Zadie Smith me gusta mucho y el otro libro de ensayos que leí de ella se me hizo muy bueno, pero en éste fueron muy poquitos los que me gustaron y que no había leído antes. El primero, sobre el cierre de librerías en Reino Unido y espacios públicos; Elegy for a Country’s Seasons, sobre cambio climático; otro...
  • Avery Delany
    This is going to be a bit of an unpopular opinion, considering how many others rated this highly, but I really didn't like this book at all. In theory, Feel Free sounds like a great idea - a collection of essays written by Zadie Smith - and there are some great pieces in this. I really loved her essays on the closure of her local library by the council and her piece on Brexit. Her essays on Jay-Z, and Key and Peele were also interesting. However,...
  • Louise
    Book 18 -*Feel Free:Essays by Zadie Smith*I love her novels do this is her second book of essays. These are essays that were originally published primarily in the New York Times or New Yorker magazine. As with all essay collections some are more enjoyable than others. My favourites were the ones about her family and her father. Particularly there is one where she talks about the moments in adulthood where something about your childhood finally ma...
  • Amy Layton
    I'm going to begin with Real Talk for this review.  Because of her Facebook essay, I have stopped going on it so much.  I mean, I still have it--with the same excuse that she cites, that is the "but I need it to stay in touch with people!" excuse--but I use it at such a lower rate and it's just...made my life so much better.  I've stopped checking on it, which gives me a little more time for other things, I worry less about how I should presen...