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Last Updated: Friday, 9 September 2005, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Author Smith raps English culture
Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith has made the Booker shortlist for her novel On Beauty
Booker Prize nominee Zadie Smith has attacked English culture, describing aspects of the country's life "disgusting" and "terrifying".

The author, who lives in north London, told New York magazine England was full of "stupidity" and "vulgarity".

"When I think of England now I just think about the England that I loved, and it's just gone," she said.

Smith's novel On Beauty is one of six shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, to be decided in October.

'Stupid work'

5/4 - Julian Barnes, Arthur and George
4/1 - Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
5/1 - Zadie Smith, On Beauty
8/1 - Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way
10/1 - John Banville, The Sea
12/1 - Ali Smith, The Accidental
Source: William Hill

Explaining her dislike of aspects of English life, Smith said: "It's the way people look at each other on the train - just general stupidity, madness, vulgarity, stupid TV shows, aspirational arseholes, money everywhere.

"It's just a disgusting place, it's terrifying. Maybe I'm just getting old."

On Friday she clarified her comments on BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour.

"I love England but the things that I don't love about it are those things - I don't love trash TV and I'm sad when I see people glaring at each other on the Tube," Smith said.

"Those things upset me, but they only upset you when you love your country so much that you're sad when you feels bit of it to be in decline."

Born in London and educated at Cambridge, Smith, 29, released her acclaimed debut novel White Teeth in 2000.

In New York magazine she described writing novels as "quite stupid work".

"In a novel you're never wrong," she said. "Novelists aren't intellectuals, they're just intuitive, if they're lucky."

Find out about the shortlisted authors

Barnes and Smith make Booker list
08 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Booker Prize: Author profiles
08 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Booker diary: Reading challenge
07 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Synopsis of Booker longlist novels
10 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Smith to tackle 'young black men'
22 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Defining moments: Zadie Smith
23 Jul 03 |  Entertainment


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