Tag Archives: Zadie Smith

The Push and Pull of Forming an Identity: ‘Swing Time’ by Zadie Smith

If it weren’t for the prologue in Zadie Smith’s new novel, Swing Time (464 pages; Penguin Press), a reader might be confounded by the many undulations the narrative takes as it kicks off in the present then looks back upon a past traumatic incident, excavating it. What could have been off-putting proves to be an adventure zig-zagging from public housing to brownstones, from England to Senegal, from 1982 to 2008, filling in the gaps in time and place and creating a definitive arc, albeit one completely warped. Relationships, and the action that subsequently alters them, form the novel’s backbone, cementing the nonlinear …Continue reading

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