David Remnick Talks with Zadie Smith

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For a decade and a half, Zadie Smith has been writing books that are both entertaining and deeply serious about race and ethnicity. Female friendship is at the center of her latest book, “Swing Time,” which is about two little girls who meet in dance class. She talks with David Remnick about what friendship means to women writers, writing in the first person (which she says English writers tend to disdain as an indulgence), and why it’s O.K. if the novel dies with her generation.