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Swing Time

by Zadie Smith

Who hasn't experienced a friend's betrayal? Is there anything more painful? Yes, if you are 'brown' and have difficulties finding your identity, cultural and personal. Even if you have never asked yourself who you are, you will feel all the pain and joy in the narrator's quest. No need for tissues, though: there is plenty of humour in the telling.

Extract

I felt a wonderful lightness in my body, a ridiculous happiness, it seemed to come from nowhere. I'd lost my job, a certain version of my life, my privacy, yet all these things felt small and petty next to the joyful sense I had watching the dance, and following its precise rhythms in my own body. I felt I was losing track of my physical location, rising above my body, viewing my life from a distant point, hovering over it .... A truth was being revealed to me: that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.

Parallels

Sula by Toni Morrison
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
 

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