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The bestselling, prize-winning, generation-defining Zadie Smith's new unmissable novel out in paperback.

How do we become who we are?
Can we ever truly escape our origins?
Must we dance to the music of our time?

Set in London, New York and West Africa, Swing Time is about two brown girls from Willesden who dream of being dancers. Only one - Tracey - has the talent. But the other has ideas which take her further than she could ever have imagined. It is a story of finding happiness in the meanest of places and feeling sad when all around you are happy. It's about the choices we make and the choices made for us. Above all, it's a tale of the friendships that anchor us, define us, and change us forever.

Reviews

Superb. One of the most entertaining novels you'll read this year

The Times Literary Supplement

Smith's finest [novel]. Truly marvellous, so extraordinary. Has brilliant things to say about race, class and gender

Observer

A thrilling, multilayered tour-de-force

Los Angeles Times

Smith has never written better. Her dialogue is pitch-perfect, her comic timing masterful

Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year

Dazzling

Irish Independent

A true, beautifully executed tragicomedy. Some of the most heart-stoppingly lyrical writing of Smith's career

Scotland on Sunday

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780141036601

    July 17, 2017

    Penguin General UK

    464 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9780241247310

    November 15, 2016

    Hamish Hamilton

    432 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9780241144152

    November 1, 2016

    Hamish Hamilton

    432 pages

    RRP $49.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780241965306

    November 15, 2016

    Penguin eBooks (UK Adult)

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Extract

It was the first day of my humiliation. Put on a plane, sent back home, to England, set up with a temporary rental in St John’s Wood. The flat was on the eighth floor, the windows looked over the cricket ground. It had been chosen, I think, because of the doorman, who blocked all enquiries. I stayed indoors. The phone on the kitchen wall rang and rang, but I was warned not to answer it and to keep my own phone switched off. I watched the cricket being played, a game I don’t understand, it offered no real distraction, but still it was better than looking at the interior of that apartment, a luxury condo, in which everything had been designed to be perfectly neu­tral, with all significant corners rounded, like an iPhone. When the cricket finished I stared at the sleek coffee machine embedded in the wall, and at two photos of the Buddha – one a brass Buddha, the other wood – and at a photo of an elephant kneeling next to a little Indian boy, who was also kneeling. The rooms were tasteful and grey, linked by a pristine hallway of tan wool cord. I stared at the ridges in the cord.

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Also by Zadie Smith

Feel Free: Essays
The Embassy Of Cambodia
Nw
Stop What You're Doing And Read This!
Changing My Mind
On Beauty
The Autograph Man
White Teeth

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Girl on the Train
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Mistress
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
A Long Way from Home
Uncommon Type
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Line of Fire
Ready Player One
Colombiano