We're beyond thrilled to announce that next year's keynote speaker will be the best-selling, multi award-winning British novelist and essayist, Zadie Smith. Zadie will be speaking at the Missouri Theatre on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are FREE and available now by clicking on this link. [Update: all tickets have now been reserved, but don't worry. Click here to read what you should do if you would still like to attend.]
Zadie Smith is one of the most exciting voices in contemporary writing. She was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She read English at Cambridge, before graduating in 1997.
Her acclaimed first novel, 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 (Overall Winner, Best First Book), and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards (Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer). It has been translated into over twenty languages and was adapted for Channel 4 television for broadcast in autumn 2002.
Her 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. In 2003 and 2013 she was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. On Beauty won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and her fourth novel NW was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named as one of The New York Times ‘10 Best Books of 2012.’ Zadie Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She has published one collection of essays, Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays (2009) and a new book of essays entitled Feel Free will be published next February. Her new novel is Swing Time (November 2016). In 2017 she was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters.
Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.