"Smith writes with a beguiling mix of assurance and solemnity, borrowing her vocabulary from many intellectual and cultural sources... Smith's native intelligence, however, seems so formidable that you can't help hoping she'll change her mind yet again." –The New York Times Book Review
"Smith brings her novelist's gifts– an eye for detail, a languid turn of phrase– to the essay form." –The Boston Globe
"Taken together, [these essays] reflect a lively, unselfconscious, rigorous, erudite and earnestly open mind that's busy refining its view of life, literature and a great deal in between... Smith shows herself in more ways than one to be a very old, empathetic head on ridiculously young shoulders... It's in her impassioned, compulsively dialectical and endearingly wonkish inquiry into literature that Smith really takes off."–Los Angeles Times "
It doesn't seem to matter what she's writing about–Kafka, her father, Liberia, George Clooney. Just placing anything within the magnetic field of her restlessly intelligent brain is enough to make it fascinating. Smith (White Teeth
) has the gift...of showing you how she reads and thinks; watching her do it makes you feel smarter and more observant just by osmosis."–Time
"Warmly insightful pieces that tease apart knotty strands of human experience... She has an uncanny eye for detail, on the streets of Liberia or at an Oscar gala in Los Angeles." –O Magazine