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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Step out into a world of Go Home vans. Go to Oxbridge, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy a flat. Buy art. Buy a sort of happiness. But above all, keep your head down. Keep quiet. And keep going.

The narrator of Assembly is a Black British woman. She is preparing to attend a lavish garden party at her boyfriend's family estate, set deep in the English countryside. At the same time, she is considering the carefully assembled pieces of herself. As the minutes tick down and the future beckons, she can't escape the question: is it time to take it all apart?

©2021 Natasha Brown (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Natasha Brown's exquisite prose, daring structure and understated elegance are utterly captivating. She is a stunning new writer." (Bernardine Evaristo, author of the Booker Prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other)

What listeners say about Assembly

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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100% worth reading

People who have had experiences like Natasha’s will love this. And for those who haven’t, I expect the perspective given in this book will be eye opening. Beautifully written, wonderfully read, highly recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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Short and oblique but so powerful

Beautiful reading by Pippa Bennett-Warner of a brief moment in the life of a high-achieving black woman whose sensitivity to the everyday racism and misogyny around her are finely tuned anyway but heightened by a huge decision she’s making. I don’t want to spoil it so can’t say more, but it’s fantastic.

1 person found this helpful

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Phenomenal debut

An incredibly striking novel where every single word is perfectly, deftly placed. The author has so carefully depicted what it is like to exist at the intersection of all these identities.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreaking Read

Astonishingly moving. It breaks my heart to read these struggles still present among such success.

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Tirade

Really wanted a story but I felt this was too much of a tirade of words

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Beautifully read, powerfully written

Very basic narrative. In the end I wish it had been longer with more structure because I think the author is so powerful in her writing

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incredible

this is such an excellent, painfully beautiful book. I can see myself reading/listening to it many more times, and I will recommend it.