Zadie Smith’s Swing Time is a vibrant novel which moves back and forth from North West London and West Africa.
The book focuses on the dreams of two ‘brown girls’. Both girls dream of being successful dancers yet only one of them has talent – the other has ideas. These ideas relate to rhythm and time and connect black music to black bodies. The novel also explores the concept of freedom.
Ultimately, it weaves a narrative about a complicated childhood friendship which ends abruptly in the girls’ early twenties. It is a friendship which cannot be revisited or re-experienced yet it cannot quite be forgotten either.
The deep connection established between the two friends, keeps them linked – especially through music. The novel is ‘dazzlingly energetic’ and ‘deeply human’; it explores life changing events and ‘stubborn roots’.
Smith’s Swing time will rock you back and forth in an ‘exuberant dance to the music of time’.
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