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As Ian Whitwham (SecEd, 4 July, 2013) claims that NW is the best novel since Charles Dickens' Bleak House, I had better add it to my reading list.
"Such musings were also prompted by Zadie Smith’s latest, NW, the best novel since Bleak House and, I’m afraid, your compulsory holiday reading. Its lyrical and dazzling insights quite annihilate the lumpen strictures of the Lords Gove and Very-Shaw, exploring the complexities of our pupils’ inner city lives with an unflinching empathy. The novel also prompts a tough optimism. As your pupils probably do. Mine certainly did".
Trouble is, I've still got lots of Thomas Hardy novels and stories to read or re-read on Kindle this holiday, as well as a well-thumbed paperback of Matthew Kneale's still amazing English Passengers (2000). The best novel since the date of its first publication.