The Embassy Of Cambodia

Hardcover | December 3, 2013

byZadie Smith

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Revisiting the terrain of her acclaimed novel NW, The Embassy of Cambodia is another remarkable work of fiction from Zadie Smith. 'The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world -- in its dramatic as well as its quiet times -- we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming . . . ' First published in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and brilliant story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, north-west London, Zadie Smith's absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions. 'Its range is lightly immense... a fiction of consequences both global and heart-rendingly intimate' Guardian 'Smith serves up a smasher' Independent Playful... unexpected and absolutely right... Skips to a beat all of its own' Times Praise for NW: 'A triumph . . .modern London is explored in a dazzling portrait . . . every sentence sings' Guardian 'Intensely funny, richly varied, always unexpected. A joyous, optimistic, angry masterpiece. No better English novel will be published this year' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph 'Absolutely brilliant . . . So electrically authentic, it reads like surveillance transcripts' Lev Grossman, TIME

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From the Publisher

Revisiting the terrain of her acclaimed novel NW, The Embassy of Cambodia is another remarkable work of fiction from Zadie Smith. 'The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world -- in its dramatic as well as its quiet times -- we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves t...

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty and NW, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:96 pages, 7 × 5 × 0.5 inPublished:December 3, 2013Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0241146526

ISBN - 13:9780241146521

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Customer Reviews of The Embassy Of Cambodia

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from To be an immigrant In a mere 60 pages or so, less if you take away the wide margins, Zadie Smith manages to convey such concise thoughts and feelings of an immigrant living the life of a domestic help. There is a point in the novella where Fatou questions if she is a "slave," but comes to the conclusion that she isn't a prisoner because of her accessibility to the outside world, albeit a limited one. Her employees provide her with a metro card and doesn't hit her, with exceptions, so she must be as free as any employed person. In here lies the powerful insight into what it means to be a foreigner in a distant land, a person treated with inequality, and a woman finding her voice in the world. That being said, "The Embassy of Cambodia" ends off in just an abrupt way as it starts off, but I suppose that's how the middle bit really shone for me. The badminton-playing and shuttlecocks references seemed pointless, but there is a nice parallel drawn between the Embassy of Cambodia and Fatou's own experiences. It's my first foray into the words of Zadie Smith, and I'm definitely interested in exploring it more since I've heard nothing but good praises.
Date published: 2014-04-01