Literary Geniuses Collide at NYU Creative Writing Conversation

3059244267_cc404458ee_mAcclaimed writer Zadie Smith, author of the award-winning masterpiece White Teeth, was a guest of the NYU Creative Writing Program’s Writers in Conversation at the Law School yesterday. Wearing an Behind the wall download.jpg”>Erykah Badu-esque headwrap, Smith discussed writing, philosophy, romance, and family struggles (I’m pretty sure all of that counts as a Gallatin major) with NYU professor and host Jonathan Safran Foer, also a best-selling novelist.

Let me indulge a little: you know you go to a pretty hip school when an author like Safran Foer isn’t being interviewed, but doing the interviewing himself. This is your pro-NYU fact of the day!

Approximately 500 people turned out to witness the two great literary minds collide. 

Apparently, the two have been close friends for years—Safran Foer explained that he first met Smith (whom he called “the new face of English literature”) when he chickened out to talk to her at a White Teeth book signing. To say the least, the conversation was intellectual. With a thick British accent, Smith divulged into how human beings are “opaque,” how the literary 3rd person is dying, and how racial undertones bear difficult implications in her writing. My brain was two big vocabulary words away from exploding.

Smith forged a bond with the audience when she said that she too is distracted by Facebook. “The Internet is an absolute disaster for writers,” Smith said before adding that she only gets two hours of work done everyday on average. Bobst dwellers, there is hope!

Photo courtesy of Flickr user bluelephant.



7 Comments

  • Jessica Roy
    May 1, 2009

    WHAT? HOW DID I MISS THIS? GODDAMMIT.

  • Caroline Sheahan
    May 1, 2009

    I can’t believe I missed this. Zadie Smith is my favorite. And I like Jonathan Safran Foer too. Damn.

  • Colin Coltrera
    May 1, 2009

    Can NYU Local give tips ahead of time when events like this are happening? Maybe just a weekly “Fantastic Free NYU Events” update? Because this is the kind of thing I would’ve loved to go to (though I was actually at Paul Farmer last night at the med school, so…)

  • Jessica Roy
    May 1, 2009

    @Colin: As your entertainment editor next year I will be sure to compile a weekly list of free, cool NYU events! Because I repeat, I really wish I had known about this.

  • jacob hentoff
    May 2, 2009

    @suchamessica me toooooooo

  • Ned Resnikoff
    May 2, 2009

    3rd person’s dying? I would’ve liked to have heard what she meant by that.

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