The Autograph Man

Check out the follow-up novel to Zadie Smith’s successful debut, the 2000 bestseller, White Teeth. The Autograph Man’s protagonist, Alex-Li Tandem, is a dealer in fame, particularly in the signatures of anyone who ever did anything of note. He’s half-Chinese, half-Jewish and his best friend, Adam, is a black Jew, born in the U.S. but moved to the ordinary London suburb of Mountjoy, where most of the novel takes place. Alex is a yearner and is infatuated with actress Kitty Alexander, whose autograph is especially valuable because she gave it out so rarely. In between smoking marijuana in the evenings and maintaining a relationship with his girlfriend, Adam’s sister, Esther, he will go to New York and seek out Kitty, possibly then drowning in the murky pool of fame himself.