Intimations: Six Essays
by Zadie Smith
Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of essays on the experience of lockdown, by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time. From the critically acclaimed author of Feel Free, Swing Time, and White Teeth.
‘There will be many books written about the year 2020: historical, analytic, political and comprehensive accounts. This is not any of those. What I’ve tried to do is organize some of the feelings and thoughts that events, so far, have provoked in me, in those scraps of time the year itself has allowed. These are, above all, personal essays: small by definition, short by necessity.
Early on in the crisis, I picked up Marcus Aurelius and for the first time in my life read his Meditations not as an academic exercise, nor in pursuit of pleasure, but with the same attitude I bring to the instructions for a flat-pack table – I was in need of practical assistance. I am no more a Stoic now than I was when I opened that ancient book, but I did come out with two invaluable intimations. Talking to yourself can be useful. And writing means being overheard.’
Crafted with the sharp intelligence, wit and style that have won Zadie Smith millions of fans, and suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these unprecedented times, Intimations is a vital work of art, a gesture of connection and an act of love – an essential book in extraordinary times.