• Intimations

  • Six Essays
  • By: Zadie Smith
  • Narrated by: Zadie Smith
  • Length: 1 hr and 51 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (386 ratings)

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Intimations  By  cover art


By: Zadie Smith
Narrated by: Zadie Smith
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Publisher's summary

“[Smith’s] slim collection of essays captures this peculiar moment with startling clarity.... The personal and political intermingle for a powerful indictment of America’s social systems.” (TIME, The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020)

“While quarantined amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith penned six dazzling, trenchant essays burrowing deep into our contemporary culture of disease and upheaval and reflecting on what was ‘once necessary’ that now ‘appears inessential.” (O, The Oprah Magazine, Best Books of 2020)

“Smith does more than illuminate what we're going through right now. She offers a model of how to think ourselves through a fraught historical moment without getting hysterical or sanctimonious, without losing our compassion or our appreciation for what's good in other people. She teaches us how to be better at being human.” (John Powers, Fresh Air)

Deeply personal and powerfully moving, a short and timely series of reflective essays by one of the most clear-sighted and essential writers of our time.

Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality - or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

Suffused with a profound intimacy and tenderness in response to these extraordinary times, Intimations is a slim, suggestive volume with a wide scope, in which Zadie Smith clears a generous space for thought, open enough for each listener to reflect on what has happened - and what should come next.

The author will donate her royalties from the sale of Intimations to charity.

©2020 Zadie Smith (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Intimations captures the uneasiness of our modern moment as Smith reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic and relates it to issues of privilege and inequity. Her urgent voice tackles everything from what becomes important during isolation to the global response to George Floyd’s killing. The author asks questions, both timely and timeless, about how we respond to crisis and suffering." (Time, Best New Books of July)

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Editor's Pick

As timely is it gets
During this quarantine, some of us have gotten really into baking and solving puzzles. If you’re like me, you haven’t done much of anything productive other than work and watch movies you’d never made time for before. And if you’re like Zadie Smith, well, you somehow manage to write a series of moving and thoughtful essays about what it means to be a living, breathing, feeling being in the world today. Written in the early days of the coronavirus lockdown, this listen really couldn’t be more timely. And look, I know we’re all in information overload about the pandemic, but these essays are something entirely different. They’re about what this means for us, as human beings sharing this world together during these unprecedented times. —Aaron S., Audible Editor

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