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Zadie Smith is a novelist, essayist and short story writer. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006 and she has published four novels: White Teeth; The Autograph Man; On Beauty and NW all of which have received substantial critical praise. White Teeth, a witty portrait of her corner of the capital, Willesden and Kilburn, exposed the tensions revolving around race, class, schools, property and the messy business of struggling to survive in London at the turn of the century. It was included in TIME magazine's 100 Best English-language Novels (1923 to 2005).  It won multiple other honours, including the 2000 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, the 2000 Whitbread Book Award for best first novel, the Guardian First Book Award, the Commonwealth Writers First Book Prize, and the Betty Trask Award. She is also the author of a collection of essays, Changing My Mind and editor of The Book of Other People.

Zadie divides her time between Queen's Park and New York City where she joined New York University's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor on September 2010. Her latest novel NW, brings us back to the neighbourhoods of North London she knows best.

Philippa Thomas is a BBC News presenter and correspondent. She has reported extensively over 25 years from the U.S., South America, Europe and Africa, living in three American states, and covering the last four presidential campaigns. Now back home in London, she is a main presenter of "World News Today" on BBC Four and BBC World TV, and a regular presenter of Radio Four's "The World Tonight". Thomas tweets @philippanews and can also be read online at and

Time Out London