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Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” Quotes (26 Quotes)


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  • Full stories are as rare as honesty.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • These days, it feels to me like you make a devil's pact when you walk into this country. You hand over your passport at the check-in, you get stamped, you want to make a little money, get yourself started... but you mean to go back! Who would want to stay? Cold, wet, miserable; terrible food, dreadful newspapers - who would want to stay? In a place where you are never welcomed, only tolerated. Just tolerated. Like you are an animal finally house-trained.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • Generally, women can't do this, but men retain the ancient ability to leave a family and a past. They just unhook themselves, like removing a fake beard, and skulk discreetly back into society, changed men. Unrecognizable.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • This is what divorce is: taking things you no longer want from people you no longer love.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • Getting anything out of my husband is like trying to squeeze water out when you're stoned.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")


  • When the male organ of a man stands erect, two thirds of his intelect go away. And one third of his religion.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • Greeting cards routinely tell us everyone deserves love. No. Everyone deserves clean water. Not everyone deserves love all of the time.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • You are never stronger...than when you land on the other side of despair.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • I cannot believe homosexuality is that much fun. Heterosexuality certainly is not.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • You must live life with the full knowledge that your actions will remain. We are creatures of consequence.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • A trauma is something one repeats and repeats, after all, and this is the tragedy of the Iqbals--that they can't help but reenact the dash they once made from one land to another, from one faith to another, from one brown mother country into the pale, freckled arms of an imperial sovereign.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • If religion is the opiate of the people, tradition is an even more sinister analgesic, simply because it rarely appears sinister. If religion is a tight band, a throbbing vein, and a needle, tradition is a far homelier concoction: poppy seeds ground into tea; a sweet cocoa drink laced with cocaine; the kind of thing your grandmother might have made.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • And the sins of the Eastern father shall be visited upon the Western sons. Often taking their time, stored up in the genes like baldness or testicular carcinoma, but sometimes on the very same day.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • I'm serious. I don't know how you work like that. My school shit is better organized, and I'm not in the business of World Domination.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")

  • Because immigrants have always been particularly prone to repetition - it's something to do with that experience of moving from West to East or East to West or from island to island. Even when you arrive, you're still going back and forth; your children are going round and round. There's no proper term for it - original sin seems too harsh; maybe original trauma would be better.
    (Zadie Smith, "White Teeth")


    More Zadie Smith Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Time - Love - Sin - Past - Religions & Spirituality - Trauma - Belief & Faith - Experience - Homosexuality - Mind - Parents - Present - Sons - Tragedy - World - Countries - Food - Man - Parenting - Performance Arts - View All Zadie Smith Quotations

    More Zadie Smith Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - White Teeth

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