Zadie Smith, 'On Beauty' Writer Zadie Smith. Her latest novel On Beauty is out in paperback. Smith gained critical acclaim for her debut novel, White Teeth, penned when she was just 24. Her second novel was The Autograph Man. On Beauty her third book, is already garnering praise from critics. Smith says it is a homage to E.M. Forster's Howard's End. On Beauty is set in the fictional New England town of Wellington, which is based on the real town of Boston, Massachusetts. Smith grew up in London, the child of an English Father and a Jamaican mother.