Internationally-acclaimed local author Zadie Smith to write new work for Brent 2020

11 November 2019

A newly-commissioned story from Zadie Smith is to debut as part of Brent 2020, as a gift to her home borough, it was announced today.

The award-winning author has been praised as one of the finest chroniclers of contemporary London, presenting vivid portraits of a multicultural city through her depictions of the north west London neighbourhoods where she grew up - from her debut novel 'White Teeth' to the celebrated works 'NW' and 'Swing Time'.

For Brent 2020 she will reimagine Geoffrey Chaucer's 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' as 'The Wife of Willesden'. The work, penned 630 years after the original, will raise important questions about the place of women in society and the extent to which they are rooted in a past beyond control. Keen observers may also notice a physical connection - Chaucer's pilgrims were probably trudging along Watling Street, an ancient route which also runs along the eastern edge of Brent. 'The Wife of Willesden' will be performed at the Kiln Theatre on Kilburn High Road.

Zadie Smith attended Malorees Junior School in Willesden and still lives between the borough and New York where she writes and teaches.

The programme for Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture was unveiled in Kilburn this morning. Click here for details.