Zadie Smith visits

Dated: 26 November 2021

Woodhouse literature students (and staff) were very excited to welcome renowned novelist Zadie Smith to the college this week.
Our 'Speakers Corner' programme regularly invite high profile guests to share specialist knowledge with our students and Zadie certainly delivered.
Zadie began with a short, but entertaining, reading - which touched on a topic that became a bit of  theme during the following Q and A session. That of missing life because of constantly having eyes glued to screens and endless scrolling. She encouraged students to look up from their phones and really look at the world - that is where inspiration lies.
She answered dozens of questions with disarming charm and the students really warmed to her. They asked her about reading and writing, ideas and inspirations, juggling motherhood and writing projects, Black Lives Matter and growing up as a black girl in north London - all of which she answered with great candour.
Her hour was over way too quickly, but she was good enough to stay on and sign books and answer direct questions after, which our students really appreciated. 
English literature student Landi, who came to Woodhouse from Copthall School, said “I’ve read a couple of essays by Zadie and I enjoyed her visit. She was very genuine and authentic in the advice that she gave. I am still considering my options for the future, but may take literature at university.”
Fellow student and friend Tiye (who came to us from Eastbourne College) agreed “I take English language and it was interesting to hear a real writers perspective. I found Zadie’s aura very calming and she seemed like a really nice person, very chilled. I told my mum that I met her and she was quite excited as she knew her work well. I really enjoyed her visit.”
We thank Zadie for taking the time to talk to our students and welcome her (and her children when they are old enough...) back anytime.

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