Zadie Smith: The Gifted Writer and Her Numerous Trophies

by Duchess Magazine

Sadie Smith was born to a Jamaican woman named Yvonne Bailey and an English man named Harvey Smith on October 25,1975 in Willesden. She changed her name from Sadie to Zadie when she was 14 years old.

English author Zadie specialises in writing short stories, essays, and novels. Her first book, White Teeth, was published in 2000 and instantly went on to win numerous accolades. Since September 2010, she has held a tenured position at the New York University creative writing department.

Malorees Junior School and Hampstead Comprehensive School, two nearby public schools Zadie attended, were followed by King’s College, Cambridge, where Smith studied English literature.

Zadie wrote many short tales in The Mays Anthology, a compilation of fresh student work, while he was a student at Cambridge. These caught the eye of a publisher, who extended her a deal for her debut book.

Awards and Recognitions

The Royal Society of Literature elected her as a fellow in 2002. Smith was one of the twenty most influential figures in British culture, according to a 2004 BBC poll of cultural academics.

She was named one of the top 20 young authors by Granta in 2003, and she was again named to the list in 2013. As a tenured professor, she began working with the creative writing students at New York University on September 1. White Teeth, a book by Smith, was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 finest English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Smith has also won the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 2006.

White Teeth: won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Award. It was also included on Time Magazine’s 100 Best English-Language Novels published from 1923-2005

The Autograph Man: won the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize

On Beauty: won the Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction; shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

NW: shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Woman’s Prize for Fiction

Swing Time: longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017

Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, 2013 and 2013

2016: Welt-Literaturpresis

2017: Langston Hughes Medal awarded on 16 November at the Langston Hughes Festival at The City College of New York

2019: Infinity Award, Critical Writing and Research, International Center of Photography 

2018: National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism for Feel Free

2020: Grand Union named a finalist for The Story Prize

2022: Grammy Award for Albu of the Year win as a featured artist on We Are by Jon Batiste 

2022: received the Bodley Medal, the Bodleian Libraries’ highest honour, “awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds of books and literature, libraries, media and communications, science and philanthropy”, presented by Richard Ovenden

2022: PEN/Audible Literary Service Award in recognition of Smith’s “remarkable achievements as a novelist, short story writer, and essayist whose work displays unparalleled attention to craft and humane ideals”.

2022: Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for “Most Promising Playwright” (The Wife of Willesden)

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