Swing Time

Swing Time

Downloadable Audiobook - 2016 | Unabridged
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An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North-West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On BeautyTwo brown girls dream of being dancers--but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, 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.Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey--the same twists, the same shakes--and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [New York] : Penguin Audio, 2016
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780735205628
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (13 hr., 50 min., 43 sec.)) : digital
audio file
Additional Contributors: Bennett-Warner, Pippa 1988-

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Apr 13, 2019

This is one of the best books I've ever read. The audio version was excellent, with the reader an actor who read with accented voices that evoked the characters. The story starts with the end in 2008 - the narrator, never named, has lost her all-consuming job being the assistant to a powerful and famous performer. But it starts in 1982 in a low income housing "estate" in London at a dance class in a classical but run down church, St. Christopher's. It starts with two mothers bringing their very young daughters to the dance class. Two mothers with "brown girls" who see each other and connect without words or actions. Tracy is the one with talent and drive and ideas and yellow stain ribbons and a doting mother. Our narrator is the one who loves dancing and musicals and who has flat feet and is dressed sensibly by her Afro-Carribean feminist mother who aspires to her high ideals. The moments are vivid and many. Life moves between the recent past and the childhood past. The links connect the two but there is no preaching, no plot tricks or artifice. It is life moving through time, people doing and not doing things in ways they should and should not do. Outcomes that are deserved and undeserved, fair and unfair, just and unjust. In the end there is Tracy, her life a ruin but the last image is of her on the estate balcony, dancing with her children.


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