35 pages 1 hour read

Zadie Smith

The Waiter’s Wife

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1999

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Essay Topics


What does the title, “The Waiter’s Wife,” suggest about the nature of identity? How does Alsana resist or embrace the limited identity this phrase implies?


Based on Samad’s placard, what is most important to him about his identity? How does that differ from what Alsana thinks he should want and how he should act?


The story is often ironic and tongue-in-cheek. How does the story use humor to highlight serious social problems?