Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm & time, about black bodies & black music, about 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.
Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things & how we can survive them. Moving from northwest London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.
“Smith’s most affecting novel in a decade, one that brings a piercing focus to her favorite theme: the struggle to weave disparate threads of experience into a coherent story of a self.” (The New Yorker)
A New York Times bestseller * Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize