59 pages 1 hour read

Zadie Smith

Swing Time

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2016

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Part 2

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2: “Early and Late”

Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

When the narrator is 10 years old, 20-year-old Aimee becomes a superstar. Later, the narrator will get to know Aimee personally. But her first experience with Aimee is buying her CD for Lily Bingham’s birthday party. Tracey is on edge at this birthday party, where most of the girls are white and wealthier than her. They watch The Jungle Book; Tracey says that Mowgli looks like a boy in her class, using an offensive derogatory word for Pakistani and Indian immigrants. To entertain the other girls, Tracey and the narrator put on Lily’s mother’s lingerie and dance to Aimee’s song until Lily’s mother finds them and reprimands them. When the narrator’s mother arrives to pick them up, she defends them to Lily’s mother. But when they are alone, she lectures the girls.

Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary

Years later, while working for YTV, the narrator meets Aimee. YTV is a music channel, successful in the late 1990s, before digital music made videos on television obsolete. At YTV, the narrator is treated as too cool for trends, thanks in part to her race and cultural background.

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By Zadie Smith