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On beauty : a novel

Author: Zadie Smith
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the Publisher: Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths: Levi quests after authentic blackness, Zora believes  Read more...
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based on 3 rating(s) 2 with reviews

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Details

Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Bildungsromans
Fiction
Material Type: Fiction, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Zadie Smith
ISBN: 1594200637 9781594200632
OCLC Number: 61396956
Awards: Orange Prize for Fiction, 2006.
Description: 445 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: 1: Kipps and Belsey --
2: Anatomy lesson --
3: On beauty and being wrong --
Author's note.
Responsibility: by Zadie Smith.
More information:

Abstract:

From the Publisher: Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths: Levi quests after authentic blackness, Zora believes that intellectuals can redeem everybody, and Jerome struggles to be a believer in a family of strict atheists. Faced with the oppressive enthusiasms of his children, Howard feels that the first two acts of his life are over and he has no clear plans for the finale. Or the encore. Then Jerome, Howard's older son, falls for Victoria, the stunning daughter of the right-wing icon Monty Kipps, and the two families find themselves thrown together in a beautiful corner of America, enacting a cultural and personal war against the background of real wars that they barely register. An infidelity, a death, and a legacy set in motion a chain of events that sees all parties forced to examine the unarticulated assumptions which underpin their lives. How do you choose the work on which to spend your life? Why do you love the people you love? Do you really believe what you claim to? And what is the beautiful thing, and how far will you go to get it? Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

Notes:

by ajb (WorldCat user on 2005-10-10)

A death, and an unexpected legacy, force two very different families to examine their deceptions, beliefs, and their very existence. Smith is the author of White Teeth and The Autograph Man.

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WorldCat User Reviews (2)

On On Beauty

by lisld (WorldCat user published 2010-09-18) Very Good Permalink

On Beauty was written by Zadie Smith, who is the same age as E.M. Forster when Howard's End [ISBN: 0679406689] was published. This is a nice parallel as she explicitly evokes Forster's novel as a model. I owe this interesting fact to Frank Kermode's review of the book in the London Review of Books...
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worth the read

by jsw (WorldCat user published 2005-11-10) Very Good Permalink
I enjoyed "White Teeth" and "On Beauty" did not disappoint. I enjoyed the language, the setting, and the characters very much. She has beautiful descriptions of everyday events (I clearly remember a reference to the "democratic snow" of the northeast) and she is wonderful at pulling away and zooming...
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