novelist, born in London, she read English at Cambridge University. Smith used the surroundings of her own childhood as the scenery for her much‐celebrated first novel, White Teeth (2000). Its protagonists come from three families–English, Bangladeshi, Caribbean—all in melting‐pot Willesden, north‐west London, muddling in and out of each other's lives. This novel won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was televised in 2002. The Autograph Man (2002) is the story of Alex‐Li Tandem, autograph‐dealer, autograph‐hunter, and questing Jewish existentialist. Another award‐winning novel, On Beauty (2005), pays tribute to E. M. Forster's Howards End, in the story of two families—the Belseys and the Kipps—whose stories are intricately bound up with one another through feuds and love affairs, in New England and London.