This fall is littered with new books by and about populist lit heavyweights: Michael Chabon's Telegraph Road, Junot Diaz's This Is How You Lose Her, D.T. Max's David Foster Wallace biography Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story. And right along at the top of the crop is NW, the first new novel from Zadie Smith in seven years. But a new book isn't the only thing Smith is dropping on us this month. Somewhere between her surely hectic promotion schedule and active social life (I'm picturing a lot of hoity-toity dinner parties where Jeffrey Eugenides gets big laughs with obscure references to Paris Review cover illustrations), Zadie found time to profile Jay-Z for the New York Times style publication T Magazine.
Yes, this is the billionth Jay-Z profile. But this one's different. And that's because, throughout the course of the piece, during which Zadie and Jay pal around over fish sandwiches, one thing is made abundantly clear. Zadie Smith isn't just a massively popular high-brow author; she's also a well-versed Jay-Z superfan. How delightful to learn! Now, let's analyze Ms. Smith's flexing of her Hova bona fides.