Sunday, November 4, 2012

the last book I ever read (Zadie Smith's NW, excerpt four)

from NW by Zadie Smith:

In the absence of Leah--at school, on the streets, in Caldwell--Keisha Blake felt herself to be revealed and exposed. She had not noticed until the break that the state of "being Leah Hanwell's friend" constituted a sort of passport, lending Keisha a protected form or access in most situations. She was now relegated to the conceptual realm of "those church kids," most of whom were Nigerian or otherwise African, and did not share Keisha Blake's anthropological curiosity regarding sin nor her love of rap music. To the children of her own background she believed, rightly or wrongly, that she was an anomaly, and to the ravers and indie kids she knew for certain she was the wrong kind of outcast. It did not strike Keisha Blake that such feelings of alienation are the banal fate of adolescents everywhere. She considered herself peculiarly afflicted, and it is not an exaggeration to say that she struggled to think of anyone besides perhaps James Baldwin and Jesus who had experienced the profound isolation and loneliness she now knew to be the one and only true reality of this world.

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