49 pages 1 hour read

Zadie Smith


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2012

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Essay Topics


Both Natalie and Leah seek something when they feel unfulfilled in their lives: Natalie pursues casual sex with strangers, while Leah becomes fixated on tracking down and helping Shar. What is similar about the causes of their obsessions? What is different about them?


Choose one of NW’s minor characters, like Ned, Barnes, or Pauline. Explore their significance in the novel. How do they exemplify or provide contrast to NW’s major themes?


Several characters in NW, from Marcia to Michel, view education and career as keys to success in life, yet their reasons for doing so aren’t uniform. Discuss the differences between their perspectives, and how those differences motivate characters’ actions.