Swing Time, by Zadie Smith

I want to write something about this but I’m short on time and inspiration. Publisher’s blurb:


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4 Responses to Swing Time, by Zadie Smith

  1. rosario001 says:

    My view of this one is much closer to yours than to Selasi’s. I found myself wishing for more of the relationship between the narrator and Tracy, less about the tiresome Aimee and her projects. I should probably read On Beauty and White Teeth, though, as there were elements here I did like.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I think White Teeth has a lot of what you liked about the childhood sections of this one. It’s very much a coming of age story, among other things.

  2. Teresa says:

    My feelings were very similar to yours. I loved the childhood stuff–really everything involving her relationship to Tracey. There was a level of detail that made it feel fresh and interesting. The African sections lacked that. There were moments dealing with Aimee that I liked (the scene of her rehearsing alone was great), but most of it was bland. I didn’t mind the narrator’s passivity, but those latter sections needed something to bring them to life.

    • Liz Mc2 says:

      I think my problem with the narrator was that on the one hand she had some of the astute perceptions of Smith’s 3rd-person narrators, and on the other she seemed sort of blind about herself and so stuck. Those perceptions didn’t get her anywhere and it was hard to believe in her as a person who would have them. Then again, when I think about myself, it seems perfectly possible that a person can be perceptive and yet still not do anything with those perceptions. 😉 I agree, the African parts just felt kind of textbook, like here are the things you should say about this kind of experience. When Smith writes about Willesden I almost never feel that.

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