On November 2, 2021, the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Foundation Distinguished Speakers Series welcomed Zadie Smith to the University of Southern California. In conjunction with USC Visions & Voices, Smith appeared at Bovard Auditorium. After reading her short story “Sentimental Education,” Smith engaged in a wide-ranging conversation with USC Writer in Residence Geoff Dyer about reading, writing, and the amorphous art of knowing—or attempting to know—oneself.
Air/Light is delighted to present a video of this interview.
Zadie Smith is the award-winning author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as collections of essays such as Changing My Mind and Feel Free. She was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002 and listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and 2013, and she is a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Geoff Dyer is the award-winning author of many books, including Out of Sheer Rage, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It, Zona, See / Saw, and the essay collection Otherwise Known as the Human Condition (winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism). A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dyer lives in Los Angeles, where he is Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California. His books have been translated into twenty-four languages.