New York University has appointed Zadie Smith, the prize-winning author of the novels White Teeth and On Beauty, as a full professor in its distinguished Creative Writing Program. She joins other senior tenured faculty members E.L. Doctorow, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Sharon Olds, as well as Global Distinguished Professor Breyten Breytenbach.
Smith, whose appointment begins in September 2010, will teach both undergraduate and graduate students.
Zadie Smith is a brilliant writer, critic, and teacherone of the most gifted writers of her generationand we will be extraordinarily fortunate to have her with us, said Deborah Landau, director of the Creative Writing program. The Creative Writing Program at NYU is thriving. Thanks to the steadfast support of the Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Science we have been able to make a number of other exciting hires recently. In addition to Zadie Smith, Anne Carson, Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Charles Simic will be joining us as Distinguished Writers in Residence.
Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers First Book Award. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize.
Smiths third novel, On Beauty, published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won The Commonwealth Writers Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Smith is the editor of an anthology of short stories entitled The Book of Other People. Her collection of essays, Changing My Mind, will be published in November 2009.
Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at Harvard and Columbia universities. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
The 2009-10 faculty of the NYU Creative Writing Program also includes: Eammon Grennan, Edward Hirsch, Major Jackson, David Lipsky, Brian Morton, Meghan ORourke, Matthew Rohrer, Brenda Shaughnessy, Irini Spanidou, Darin Strauss, and Chuck Wachtel. Other recent visiting faculty include Lydia Davis, Kimiko Hahn, A.M. Homes, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Francine Prose.