Zadie Smith On Her New Book “Swing Time” And Why Black British Writing Is Struggling

Zadie Smith. Photo by JACKIE NICKERSON
In the New York Times British writer Zadie Smith talks about Jamaica, her search of identity in Africa and her new book “Swing Time”.  And just recently she discussed the intersection of class & race in nurturing literary creativity in working class minorities at NYU. 

It's Zadie Smith’s first novel since 2012’s NW. The story about “two brown girls [who] dream of being dancers”, will come out this winter, her publishers have announced.

Editors note: An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North-West London to West Africa.

Two 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.

Class & race

In an other interview, at NYU, Smith is very sceptical about the future of Black writing in the UK,  "In England Black writing is struggling. Black working class writing in the UK is not happening." See video.