smith nw cover

Extract from NW

This extract comes from p. 182 of Zadie Smith’s NW. We’re interested in your reading experience. The text is fully annotatable: highlight any portion of the text to add your own thoughts.

17. GCSE

In the office of Keisha Blake’s Head of Year baseball caps and inappropriate jewellery were confiscated and hung from the wall on hooks. Keisha Blake had not been called in for a reprimand, she had come to discuss her options for a set of exams still three years in the future. She did not really want to discuss these exams, she simply wanted it to be noted that she was the kind of person who thought three years ahead about the important things in life. As she got up to leave she spotted a silver chain from which drooped a tiny pistol picked out in diamanté crystals. ‘That’s my sister’s,’ she said. ‘Oh, is it?’ said the teacher, and looked out of the window. Keisha persisted: ‘She doesn’t go here any more. She got expelled.’ The teacher frowned. He took the necklace from the wall and passed it to Keisha. He said: ‘It’s hard to believe that you and Cheryl Blake are even related.’