*If any tickets become available, we'll announce it on twitter
on the day of the event*

Swing Time (Penguin Press)

Skylight Books is delighted to present Zadie Smith, author of White TeethThe Autograph ManOn BeautyChanging My Mind, and NW, as she reads from her ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North-West London to West Africa, Swing TIme, at The Zipper Concert Hall at the Colburn School.

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...

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price includes a copy of the book. The reading and Q&A will be followed by a signing. Signing guidelines to come. 

If you're already a member of our Friends with Benefits program, your ticket price will be discounted to $29 during processing. If you'd like to sign up for membership ($25 for one year), go here

CAN'T ATTEND? Please purchase a copy of Swing Time by calling the store at (323) 660-1175 or ordering online. We'll do our best to get it signed for you. (Just be sure to click the purple "Signed Copy" button on the next screen once you add the book to your cart.) You may pick up this book in the store starting November 15th, or have it shipped to you.

Praise for Swing Time 

"A keen, controlled novel about dance and blackness steps onto a stage of cultural land mines…Smith is dazzling in her specificity, evoking predicaments, worldviews, and personalities with a camera-vivid precision…Moving, funny, and grave, this novel parses race and global politics with Fred Astaire’s or Michael Jacksons grace.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“[A] powerful and complex novel…Rich and absorbing, especially when it highlights Smith's ever-brilliant perspective on pop culture.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Agile and discerning…With homage to dance as a unifying force, arresting observations…exceptionally diverse and magnetizing characters, and lashing satire, Swing Time is an acidly funny, fluently global, and head-spinning novel about the quest for meaning, exaltation, and love…This tale of friendship lost and found is going to be big.”—Booklist (starred review)

“The narrative moves deftly and absorbingly between its increasingly tense coming-of- age story and the adult life of the sympathetic if naïve and sometimes troubling narrator…A rich and sensitive drama highly recommended for all readers.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White TeethThe Autograph ManOn Beauty, and NW, as well as a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

David L. Ulin is the author, most recently, of the novel Ear to the Ground. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, his other books include Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, a finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award.

Zadie Smith photo by Dominique Nabokov

Event date: 
Monday, January 9, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
200 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Swing Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594203985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - November 15th, 2016

White Teeth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375703867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 12th, 2001

NW Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143123934
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 27th, 2013

On Beauty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143037743
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - September 1st, 2006

The Autograph Man Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375703874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage Books USA - June 10th, 2003

Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143117957
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 26th, 2010

Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles Cover Image
ISBN: 9780520273726
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of California Press - October 6th, 2015

Ear to the Ground Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939419736
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Unnamed Press - April 12th, 2016

Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology Cover Image
ISBN: 9781931082273
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Library of America - September 30th, 2002

The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143035251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - July 26th, 2005