Sunday, August 27, 2017

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Swing Time
by Zadie Smith
narrated by Pippa Bennett-Warner

Find out more about this book and author:

Paperback release: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Literary, Dance
Paperback: 464
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
If all the Saturdays of 1982 can be thought of as one day, I met Tracey at ten a.m. on that Saturday, walking through the sandy gravel of a churchyard, each holding our mother’s hand.

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.

My two-bits:

With thoughts on dance, talent, friendship this story also incorporates experiences of Black British and African women in the contemporary world.

This is one of those stories that blends it all together really well.


* Listened to audiobook version.

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

* part of Man Booker Prize Reading Challenge (here)


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