A Conversation with Zadie Smith

Dominique Nabokov

A Conversation with Zadie Smith

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 7:30 pm

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Literary Arts

Zadie Smith has been a vital literary voice since her first novel, White Teeth, became an instant bestseller almost two decades ago.

Smith’s acclaimed White Teeth (2000) is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethnically diverse families. The book won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards. It was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the Author’s Club First Novel Award. White Teeth has been translated into over twenty languages.

Smith’s second novel, The Autograph Man (2002)—a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity—won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. Her next work, On Beauty (2005), won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction, and tells the story of an interracial family living in the university town of Wellington, Massachusetts and their misadventures in the culture wars on both sides of the Atlantic.

NW (2012), set in northwest London, follows four locals—Leah, Natalie, Felix, and Nathan—as they try to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the council estate of their childhood. The book was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named one of the New York Times‘s ‘10 Best Books of 2012.’

Her most recent novel is Swing Time (2016), which follows two brown girls in their dream of becoming dancers. Swing Time was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2017, Smith was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was the recipient of the 2017 City College of New York’s Langston Hughes Medal.

Smith is also an acclaimed essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and has additionally published the collection Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (2009), and a new book of essays, Feel Free (2018). Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays such as, “Joy,” and, “Find Your Beach,” Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life.

Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She read English at Cambridge before graduating in 1997. She is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Please contact us at sal@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.

Sponsors

Novella Sponsor
Civilization