Loads of Learned Lumber

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Zadie Smith, _Swing Time_ (2)

WAIT, THERE'S MORE. A second deeply appealing aspect of Swing Time is that we meet Archie and Clara Bowden Jones again, in a new guise, as the parents of the narrator. (Irie Jones is mentioned in passing as a neighborhood contemporary of the narrator and Tracey.)

The narrator's father is a bit of a pothead, which I don't recall Archie being, and her mother has a drive and ferocity (she attains a degree, becomes an activist and eventually an M.P.) that I don't recall Clara having, but the differences in the parents' ages, ethnicities, and stance towards the universe seem recognizably parallel to those of Archie and Clara, so you just have to wonder...

...are Smith's parents going to wind up having as many fictional avatars as Bess Finkel Roth and Herman Roth?

One certainly hopes so.

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