Zadie Smith, the award-winning British-born novelist, is the recipient of this year’s City College of New York’s Langston Hughes Medal. She joins a list of literary luminaries, including James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Walter Mosley, who have received the honor. The award will be presented at City College’s annual Langston Hughes Festival on November 16.
Smith is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has twice been listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists.
Her first novel, “White Teeth”(Random House, 2000) was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers’ First Book Award. Her second novel, “The Autograph Man” (Vintage Books / Random House, 2002), won The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize.
Smith’s third novel, “On Beauty” (Penguin Books, 2005) received the Orange Prize for Fiction, The Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her fourth novel, “NW” (Penguin Press, 2012) was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
“Swing Time” (Penguin Books, 2016), Smith’s most recent book, has been shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. In addition, she published an essay collection, “Changing My Mind” (Penguin Books) in 2009.
Smith writes regularly for the New Yorker magazine and the New York Review of Books. She is a tenured professor of creative writing at New York University.
About the Langston Hughes Medal
The Langston Hughes Medal is awarded to highly distinguished writers from throughout the African American diaspora for their impressive works of poetry, fiction, drama, autobiography and critical essays that help to celebrate the memory and tradition of Langston Hughes. Past award winners include James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Toni Morrison, August Wilson, Wole Soyinka, Derek Walcott, Octavia Butler, and Edwidge Danticat.
About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.