Twenty Twenty: A Pop Culture Podcast

White Teeth: Sharmaine Lovegrove on Zadie Smith’s Literary Debut

October 27, 2020

The new millennium brought with it a fresh wave of optimism and excitement for the future. Zadie Smith's best selling debut novel White Teeth embodied this mood and symbolised a changing of the guard. Smith was lauded with critical acclaim and lavished with media attention — an overnight literary sensation at just 24 years old. With special guest Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books, we explore the impact of the novel and the legacy of its author.

Content Warning: Mention of suicide  

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Select books Sharmaine mentions in the episode: 

The Lonely Londoners, Sam Selvon

Second Class Citizen, Buchi Emecheta

The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi

The Black Album, Hanif Kureishi

Blonde Roots, Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other,  Bernardine Evaristo

Queenie, Candice Carty Williams

Bridget Jones Diary, Helen Fielding


Select work by Zadie Smith referenced: 

Fences: A Brexit Diary, NY Books

Stormzy at Glastonbury


Sharmaines question to Zadie in the Guardian


Clips Used: 

Tony Blair wins landslide general election win for Labour (1997) - Newsnight archives

America's Internet Trading Boom (1990) -  

Journeyman Pictures

Tony Blair on immigration (2004) -  London Business School