Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by AZ_Fulfillment
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: [Lightly Used Hardcover. Possible light wear to cover. No markings in text but may be name or dedication inside cover. Any CD/DVD may have been removed by previous user. Expedited Shipping Available]
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 12, 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

See all 13 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Bargain Price, November 12, 2009
$16.28 $2.74

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

Featured Titles in Fiction
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2009: One of Zadie Smith's great gifts as a novelist is her openness: both to character and ideas in her stories, and to what a novel itself should be. That she's a novelist was clear as soon she broke through with White Teeth in her early twenties, but what kind she'll be (or will be next) seems open to change. Which all, along with her consistent intelligence, grace, and wit, makes her an ideal essayist too, especially for the sort of "occasional essays" collected for the first time in Changing My Mind. She can make the case equally for the cozy "middle way" of E.M. Forster and the most purposefully demanding of David Foster Wallace's stories, both as a reader and, you imagine, as a writer who is considering their methods for her own. The occasions in this book didn't only bring her to write about writers, though: she also investigates, among other subjects, Katherine Hepburn, Liberia, and Barack Obama (through the lens of Pygmalion), and, in the collection's finest piece, recalls her late father and their shared comedy snobbery. One wishes more occasions upon her. --Tom Nissley

About the Author

Zadie Smith was born in northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man, and On Beauty, and the editor of The Book of Other People. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Believer.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The (November 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594202370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202377
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In addition to her considerable talents as a novelist, Zadie Smith has been quietly assembling an impressive body of literary and cultural criticism over the past several years. Those pieces have been collected in this volume, a virtuosic demonstration of the workings of a first-class mind expressed in consistently lucid prose. Smith, who divides her time between New York and London, is an acute observer of contemporary culture, possessed also with the intellectual grounding to make her commentaries more than ephemera.

The first section of the volume consists of six scholarly essays on writers like Zora Neale Hurston (one of her early literary inspirations), Nabokov and Barthes, George Eliot, E.M. Forster and Kafka. The most intriguing (and perhaps controversial) piece in this section is one entitled "Two Directions for the Novel," in which she contrasts the lyrical realism of Joseph O'Neill's lavishly praised NETHERLAND with her preference for the "constructive deconstruction" of English novelist Tom McCarthy's experimental REMAINDER.

Smith's lecture, "Speaking in Tongues," the highlight of a section entitled "Being," is a moving meditation delivered only a few weeks after the election of Barack Obama. More than any other essay in the collection, this one puts her dazzling talents on full display. In it, she moves gracefully from the story of shedding the accent of her birth ("Willesden was a big, colorful, working-class sea; Cambridge was a smaller, posher pond, and almost univocal; the literary world is a puddle.") to a discussion of Pygmalion, to an incisive dissection of Obama's memoir. Along the way, she discourses on such subjects as Shakespeare, the religious wars of 17th-century England and Cary Grant. None of this feels as if it's calculated to showcase her erudition.
Read more ›
2 Comments 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Zadie Smith's novels, and thought she would be an interesting essayist. By and large my expectations were met. I really enjoyed parts of the book. I enjoyed her socio-political writing, in 'One Week in Liberia', her diary of a week spent in Liberia for Oxfam, and 'Speaking in Tongues', an essay on race and dialect. I also enjoyed her personal stories of her family and especially her father, in the 'Feeling' section of the book, especially 'Dead Man Laughing'. And I enjoyed her movie reviews as well as her account of Oscar weekend. The parts of the book I enjoyed less were those where she delves into literary theory, where her invocations of ideas from critical theory and philosophy feel extremely elliptical and vague, as well as not finding a distinctive or original voice of her own so clearly as in her other writing. The sweeping scope of the intellectual references may seem erudite to some, but their treatment is - perhaps inevitably in a collection of essays like this - rather superficial, and that frustrated me. For example, Smith brings up numerous times the postmodernist idea that language does not describe reality, without really doing anything to explain or motivate such a claim. The weaving together of (for example) Eliot and Spinoza feels a little studied and forced. Still, there is a lot to enjoy here, and even the sections on literature did inspire me to read some of her heroes; she communicates enthusiasm and passion for the literature she loves beautifully. Overall, I recommend this to fans of Smith as well as those who enjoy good journalistic writing of a middle-to-high-brow, non-specialist sort.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Zadie Smith has established herself as one of the prominent novelists of the contemporary literature scene, but she is well on her way to establishing her reputation as a fine essayist. This collection of essays, gathered over the course of the last few years, proceed from erudite literature reviews, to politics, to film, and on to personal reflections from Smith's life. I found the pieces on literature the most compelling and brilliant; Smith's willingness to reassess her aesthetic commitments is a rare gift and an indicator of an active and sharp reader. Her review of David Foster Wallace's 'Brief Interviews with Hideous Men,' is a fabulous ode to the late writer and close friend of Smith. Here she is able to give a nuanced reading of what made DFW so elusive and mystifying a writer. The essays in this volume very in quality, and Smith is prone to the kind of obscure intellectualizing of which she is so suspicious. Never the less, this collection is the mark of an open and promising interpreter of literature and cultural matters as a whole. I look forward to future work.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As always, Smith writes not just with brain and spine, as her hero Nabokov urged, but with stomach too and heart and funny bone. Divided into five (not four) sections entitled "Reading," "Being," "Seeing," "Feeling," and "Remembering", the collection is eclectic, including travel journalism, family histories and movie reviews, which range from blow-your-mind brilliant to, in one or two cases, a little flat. But - and this is not a sentence you get to write too often - it's the lit crit that really sparkles. The essays about consuming and producing literature are what will earn this book a place on the shelf of every serious creative reader and writer. I loved, and learned from and yes, had my mind changed by, their forensic effervescence.

From The Creative Intelligence Blog by Orna Ross, author Lovers' Hollow & A Dance in Time
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?