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Monday, September 12, 2005

Booker Prize Nominee slags off Tube Commuters

Londoner Zadie Smith hates how we glare at each other on the London Underground

Would you glare at Zadie Smith?We've been having lots of
London Underground and book related discussions lately, so it was kind of weird that I found out through Londonist that Booker 2005 shortlisted author Zadie Smith, who lives in North London, just gave an interview to New York magazine where she really slagged off the UK and then back-tracked or clarified her points on the BBC's Women's Hour on Friday.

She said in New York magazine:

"When I talk about England now I just think about the England that I loved," she says, "and it's just gone. It's the way people look at each other on the train; just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere. It's just a disgusting place. It's terrifying. Maybe I'm just getting old."

She's 29!

Then according to a BBC report on Radio 4's Women's Hour she said:

"I love England but the things that I don't love about it are those things - I don't love trash TV and I'm sad when I see people glaring at each other on the Tube," Smith said.

"Those things upset me, but they only upset you when you love your country so much that you're sad when you feel a bit of it to be in decline."

Personally, I don't think that people glaring at each other on the Tube is a sign of the decline of the UK. People have been glaring at each other on the Tube for years before Zadie Smith was born. For someone who made her name by writing an excellent novel about growing up in multi-cultural London (White Teeth), the whole thing seems rather strange. One minute the UK is a "disgusting place" and "terrifying" and the next "a bit of it is in decline".

Make your mind up Zadie!

; Posted by Annie Mole Monday, September 12, 2005 Permalink COMMENT HERE