Author(s): Zadie Smith
In the summer of 1959, an Antiguan immigrant in north west London lives the last day of his life. A mother looks back on her early forays into matters of the human heart, considering the ways in which desire is always an act of negotiation, destruction, and self-invention. A disgraced cop stands amid the broken shards of his life, unable to move forward into a future that holds no place for him. A teenage scion of the technocratic elite chases spectres through a premium virtual reality, trailed by a little girl with a runny nose and no surviving family. We all take a much-needed break from this mess, on a package holiday where the pool's electric blue is ceaselessly replenished, while political and environmental collapse happen far away, to someone else. Interleaving ten completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a sharply alert and slyly prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.