Zadie Smith is one of my favourite contemporary writers. So far I have posted upon three of her novels, Swing Time, On Beauty and NW as well as several of her short stories. I am currently slowly working my way through two of her essay collections. I hope and predict she will when the Nobel Prize one day.
“Two Men Arrive in a Village” can be read online on the webpage of The New Yorker (see link above). There is also a podcast of Smith reading the story (run time twelve minutes). I suggest reading it first, then listen to the elegant podcast, there is something special about listening to an author read her work.
My main purpose this morning is to just record a few thoughts on the story and to let anyone into Zadie Smith know that she has another great short story online .
The story reads almost like a parable, it is set in sub equatorial Africa in recent history, it could be many other places. Two armed men enter a Village just as the sun sets, they try to make themselves initially liked. The villagers know
they are there to steal and will feel entitled to have sex with the young women of their picking, claiming they want to breed future warriors.
Smith made me feel I was there, trying to be calm and brave but above all praying for them to be gone. I don’t want to tell more of the events of the story. I found it moving and honest. It is a tale for five thousand years ago and from a next week CNN feature.
Mel u, Director and Founder
The Reading Life