Meyer, Michael (2017):
"Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)." Handbook of the English Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Eds. Reinfandt, Christoph. Berlin: De Gruyter. 481-497. Handbooks of English and American Studies; 5.
Article in Anthology
Abstract

White Teeth is a realistic and comic family saga about the intertwined lives of three families of different ethnic affiliations. The novel spans the twentieth century, connecting the colonial past in Jamaica and India with the postcolonial present in London. In this metahistorical novel, narrative comments, the characters’ unreliable versions of the past, and the twisted plots develop an ironic comedy of history characterized by repetition as a farce. Both first-generation and second-generation immigrants struggle for recognition. However, they develop different strategies in constructing their positions and identities through assimilation, transcultural hybridization, or the delimitation of their cultures in opposition to the permissive and capitalist Western society. The cosmopolitan and multicultural metropolis becomes the site of intercultural conflicts and transcultural blending.