Swing Time

Swing Time

By  Zadie Smith

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and true identity, how they shape us and how we can survive them. Moving from north-west London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

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 neighbourhood far behind, travelling the world as PA to famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one per cent 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.

Format & Editions

Trade Paperback

9780241247310

November 15, 2016

Hamish Hamilton (UK)

RRP $37.00

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Hardback

9780241144152

November 1, 2016

Hamish Hamilton (UK)

RRP $55.00

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Paperback

9780141036601

July 17, 2017

Penguin General UK (UK Adult)

RRP $26.00

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