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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 18:21 GMT
White Teeth to be televised
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith's debut won a series of literary prizes
Zadie Smith's best-selling first novel, White Teeth, is to be made into a TV series next year.

Commissioned by Channel 4, the adaptation will consist of four parts and will go into production in February to be screened in autumn 2002.

Smith's debut novel - which she started writing aged 21 - became a major hit three years ago when it was bought by a publisher based on just 80 handwritten pages.

The author was able to strike a 250,000 two-book deal with publishers Hamish Hamilton.

I wasn't trying to write about race; I was trying to write about the country I live in

Zadie Smith

The book went on to win the Guardian First Book Award, The Whitbread First Novel Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, the WH Smith Award for New Talent and the Commonwealth Writers' First Book Award.


White Teeth follows the entwined lives of two families - one from Bangladesh and the other Anglo-Jamaican - over a 25-year period in North London.

Samad Iqbal and Archibald Jones forge a firm friendship during the final weeks of World War II.

After the fighting is over their family lives continue to cross, making situations complicated and in need of analysis.

Critics said the book was an accurate reflection of multicultural Britain but Smith said: "I wasn't trying to write about race. I was trying to write about the country I live in."

The television version will mainly be filmed on location in London's Willesden and Cricklewood. Some overseas filming is also planned in the Caribbean and Indian sub-continent.

See also:

03 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Zadie Smith flies Brit lit flag
23 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Smith tipped for Whitbread
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Whitbread winners profiled
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