LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2017
SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2017
'Smith's finest. Extraordinary, truly marvellous' Observer
A dazzlingly exuberant novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the critically acclaimed author of White Teeth, On Beauty and Grand Union
Two brown girls dream of being dancers - but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, black bodies and black music, what it means to belong, what it means to be 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.
Bursting with energy, rhythm and movement, Swing Time is Zadie Smith's most ambitious novel yet. It is a story about music and identity, race and class, those who follow the dance and those who lead it . . .
'Superb' Financial Times 'Breathtaking' TLS 'Pitch-perfect' Daily Telegraph
'There is still no better chronicler of the modern British family than Zadie Smith' Telegraph
Satisfying and thoughtful
Publisher's description. Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is Zadie Smith's most ambitious novel yet: 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.
Zadie Smith is the best writer of our generation, and Swing Time is her best book to date. As the title promises, the novel swings and pulsates with life, filled with emotion, excited by intellect and haunted by sadness. What a miracle that literature can still do things other forms of art cannot. What a miracle that Zadie Smith is among us, writing.
[Smith] packs more intelligence, humour and sheer energy into any given scene than anyone else of her generation
Zadie Smith's finest novel. Extraordinary, virtuosic... The novel does what only literature can and what only great literature will: forces us to assess the very vocabulary with which we speak of human experience
Endlessly satisfying... [Zadie Smith] has never written better. Pitch-perfect, masterful and sophisticated
Zadie Smith at her finest... [An] unflinching portrait of friendship... [A] triumph
Ingenious, inspired... Zadie Smith's new novel is very good indeed
Shrewd observation and sly satire, profundity and genuine purpose, as well as some of the most heart-stoppingly lyrical writing of her career
A powerful story of lives marred by secrets, unfulfilled potential and the unjustness of the world... interwoven with another beautiful story of the dances people do to rise above it all
Party season isn't looking too good this year. Here’s what you can read instead to travel to a world of fun, dancefloors and lowered inhibitions.
Zadie Smith's Swing Time is about the divergent fortunes of two childhood friends who dream of becoming dancers. We talked to the author about how our friendships shape our identities