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You must live life with the full knowledge that your actions will remain. We are creatures of consequence.

("White Teeth")


More Quotes from Zadie Smith:


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

Sometimes Allah punishes and sometimes men have to do it, and it is a wise man who knows if it's Allah's turn or his own.
Zadie Smith

Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.
Zadie Smith

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

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

Blimey, thought Kelvin, what an eye-to-face ratio. When you want to say something delicate, you don't want that eye-to-face ration staring up at you. Big eyes, like a child's or a baby seal's; the physiognomy of innocence--looking at Archie Jones is like looking at something that expects to be clubbed round the head any second.
Zadie Smith

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