Teacher Guide

On Beauty Lesson Plan

Introduction to On Beauty

On Beauty is the third novel by the acclaimed British author Zadie Smith. The novel is an homage to E.M. Forster’s Howards End, which tackles the themes of family and class in early 20th century England. Though On Beauty takes inspiration from Howards End, it adds many of its own elements and twists to its 21st century transatlantic family tale.

The novel centers around the Belsey family: Howard, his wife Kiki, and their children Jerome, Zora, and Levi. Howard is a white Art History professor raised in a working class neighborhood in London. Kiki is a black hospital administrator who grew up in Florida. Their kids are biracial and growing up in the wealthy Boston suburb of Wellington....

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