Back on the terrain of 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 this Spring 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, NW 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.
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
Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels NW, White Teeth, The Autograph Man and On Beauty, and of a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People.