Zadie Smith presents Swing Time, with Isaac Fitzgerald
September 27, 2017, 7:30 PM
Zadie Smith’s Swing Time is an ambitious, exuberant new novel from the award-winning author of White Teeth and NW. Two brown girls dream of being dancers, but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other, the narrator, 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, neither to be revisited nor forgotten. Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while the narrator leaves the old neighborhood and travels the world as an assistant to a famous and wealthy singer. When the singer develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey, and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a dance.
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.
This book even is a collaborative program between Community Bookstore and The Berkeley Carroll School.