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The Crack Magazine


Assembly by Natasha Brown

Ambitious, bold and original, Assembly is easily the best novel I’ve read this year. The narrator, a Black British woman, is playing the game, attempting to assimilate at her high-paying finance job and among her white boyfriend’s wealthy family. But when she receives a cancer diagnosis, she questions whether she should bow out altogether, not just of life in the City, but of life altogether. It's enlightening to read about the internal life of someone who has been told to politely nod along while negotiating the travails of university, work and her personal life. The novel presents its observations about British culture — from its denial about its violent colonial past to its hostility towards immigration — by using an innovative form that takes you along for the emotional ride. It’s only 100 pages in length, but it’s destined to be read and studied, again and again. MG

Published by Penguin