“Now More Than Ever”
by Zadie Smith
from the July 23, 2018 issue of The New Yorker
The prolific Zadie Smith has returned to the pages of The New Yorker with a new story called “Now More than Ever.” Her last piece of fiction to appear in the magazine was “The Lazy River,” and it didn’t really feel like a story (we talked about it here). This one feels more like fiction, even if it starts sounding a bit like an essay. Here is how it begins:
There is an urge to be good. To be seen to be good. To be seen. Also to be. Badness, invisibility, things as they are in reality as opposed to things as they seem, death itself—these are out of fashion. This is basically what I told Mary. I said, Mary, all these things I just mentioned are not really done anymore, and also, while we’re on the subject, that name of yours is not going to fly, nobody’s called Mary these days, it’s painful for me even to say your name—actually, could you get the hell out of here?
I’m excited to see what you all think this time around, so please feel free to comment below!