London Literary Locations: White Teeth

White Teeth, as every fule no, was Zadie Smith’s blockbuster debut, the multi-generational tale of multicultural London from 1974 up to the turn of the century. It’s a fairly obvious choice for us to pinpoint where the action takes place, especially as a lot of it happens in the less-loved-than-they-should-be areas of North West London. Strangely, however, we found a number of things in the novel not matching up to real life – maybe it’s our battered US version, or maybe Smith has deliberately smudged the precise edges. None of this takes away from the sense of place and rootedness that is at the heart of the book, it just made our job that little bit harder…

Page numbers refer to a US edition published by Vintage for reasons too dull to go into here; chapter numbers are also given so you can find it in a UK edition. All images author’s own. See the other books covered in this series.

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Article by Rachel Holdsworth | 2,593 Articles | View Profile | Twitter

  • Tomtiredoflondon

    Fantastic stuff. I bloody love Londonist.

  • Maria Luisa

    Have you ever read A part-time marriage?