The embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith

smith3This is an immensely powerful short novel from Zadie Smith. Expect to feel deeply uncomfortable and at times horrified by a story which, although fictional, rings frighteningly true.

The main character in the tale is Fatou, a domestic servant working in Willesden, north London. She is not paid for her work (the cost of her food and room are deducted from her wages) and her passport was taken from her on the day she started work; when she reads a discarded newspaper article about a person kept in slavery in London,she is forced to question if this could describe her situation also- she decides not.

However the author is not seeking our pity for Fatou, and we can only admire her strength of character and sense of self as events unfold around her.

Strikingly good writing to be savoured.

Elena

Reserve your copy here.

 

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