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Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free, and a collection of short stories, Grand Union. White Teeth won multiple awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books.
Nick Laird was born in Northern Ireland in 1975 and was educated at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University. He has published two novels, Utterly Monkey and Glover's Mistake, and three collections of poetry, To a Fault, On Purpose and Go Giants. He has also edited Zoo of the New: Poems to read Now, an anthology of poetry, new and old, alongside Don Paterson. Laird is the recipient of many awards for his fiction and poetry, including the Betty Trask Prize, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the Somerset Maugham Award. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, he teaches Creative Writing at Columbia University in New York. nicklaird.com
Photo credit Dominique Nabokov
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2021 | Award-winning writers for adults, Zadie Smith and Nick Laird have now created a perfectly crafted picture book that is simple in its telling and strong in its message. When Maud arrives as a surprise for Kit’s birthday she is treated with great suspicion by the pets who are already in residence. Since she is not like them - a cat, a bird or a pug dog - they are swift to deem her to be a weirdo. Briefly, Maud tries to fit in before taking herself on a life-changing adventure in which she soon discovers that being yourself is far, far more important than fitting in. Magenta Fox’s gentle illustrations are the perfect foil to this punchy celebration of individuality.