Swing Time (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


Zadie Smith's newest novel brings two young girls together through circumstance and their mutual love of dance, fostered by the musicals and music videos they grow up watching. Covering decades of their diverging lives, the novel jumps from London to West Africa to New York, all while exploring ideas of cultural appropriation, freedom and belonging. Throughout all these years, the complicated bonds of the girls' childhood friendship is present. Smith's characters are flawed and real, and her writing has a resonating humanity.

— Kelly

Description


A New York Times bestseller * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.

Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.

But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey--the same twists, the same shakes--and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.

About the Author


Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and NW, as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. Swing Time is her fifth novel. Her new collection of essays, Feel Free, is on sale 2/6/2018.


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781594203985
ISBN-10: 1594203989
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: November 15th, 2016
Pages: 464
Language: English