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The Embassy of Cambodia

What Bath was to Austen, or Paris to Balzac, Willesden is to Zadie Smith

By Prospect Team   November 2013

The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith (Hamish Hamilton, £7.99)

What Bath was to Austen, or Paris to Balzac, Willesden is to Zadie Smith. With every new book, Smith returns to northwest London to fill in another detail of the canvas that she began with White Teeth in 2000. The Embassy of Cambodia centres on Fatou, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast who works for a Pakistani family, the Derawals, as a maid. We follow Fatou’s day-to-day life as she goes swimming, chats with her church friend, Andrew, and becomes…

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