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2016 Distinguished Lecturer:
Award-Winning Novelist Zadie Smith

Thursday, May 5, 2016
6:30 p.m.
Mandell Theater

33rd & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Register Now


The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce that Zadie Smith will deliver the sixth annual Drexel University College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Lecture. Smith will discuss the development of her career, read a selection of her work, and participate in a Q&A session, followed by a book signing. Have a question for Smith? You’ll have a chance to enter it on the ticket submission form.

About Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

Novelist, essayist and cultural critic Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She studied English at Kings College, Cambridge, where she began working on her acclaimed first novel, "White Teeth" — one of TIME magazine's "100 Best English-Language Novels Since 1923" (the year TIME was first published).

"White Teeth" (2000), is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethni­cally diverse families. The book won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book), and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards (Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer). It was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Author's Club First Novel Award. "White Teeth" has been translated into over 20 languages and was adapted for television in 2002.

Smith's "The Autograph Man" (2002), a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. Her novel "On Beauty" won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction, and her most recent novel "NW" was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women's Prize for Fiction, and was named as one of The New York Times "10 Best Books of 2012." In 2003 and 2013, Smith was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 "Best of Young British Novelists."

Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She published one collection of essays, "Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays" (2009), and is working on a book of essays entitled "Feel Free." Smith is currently a tenured professor of creative writing at New York University.

About the Distinguished Lecture Series

The College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Lecture will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Drexel's Mandell Theater on May 5, 2016. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required and will be available online March 21, 2016. Questions for Smith will be collected through the online ticketing site at that time.

Smith will join acclaimed author Sir Salman Rushdie, media maven Arianna Huffington, neuroscientist David Eagleman, religion scholar and author Reza Aslan, and designer and urban planner Candy Chang on the growing list of accomplished CoAS distinguished lecturers.

Please direct any inquiries regarding either of these events to Jennifer Yusin at