49 pages 1 hour read

Zadie Smith


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2012

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Part 4

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “Crossing”

Part 4 Summary

In a daze, Natalie walks through the streets of NW, up Willesden Lane to Kilburn High Road. The road is blocked, and police inform her that there has been some sort of incident. Without aim or purpose, Natalie heads back to Caldwell: “Walking was what she did now, walking was what she was. She was nothing more or less than the phenomenon of walking” (360). Someone calls for her, and it turns out to be Nathan. He mentions she doesn’t look good and correctly guesses that she’s been arguing with Frank.

Nathan tells Natalie (Keisha, as he calls her), “It’s either fly or give it up tonight,” and he urges her to come with him (362). They walk through the streets. Nathan offers Natalie marijuana laced with something harder. The drugs hit Natalie hard; “She was as high as she’d ever been in her life” (376). She wants to go into a cemetery. They watch a fox, which they call a “sneaky animal.” When they see the lights of the police, however, they take off.

Wandering to a train station, Nathan tells Natalie to hold back for a minute. She watches him score something off of two girls, and then they continue walking toward a gentrified area.