Monday, March 3, 2014


Last summer, I found myself defending my affection for Zadie Smith. She seemed a bit "mainstream," my husband said, for me to be reading.

Multiculturalism in contemporary London? What's not to love? And if she was so "mainstream," why wasn't The Embassy of Cambodia published state-side? In a flat world, the peculiarities related to publishing remain conspicuously bordered. I gnashed my teeth for months until used copies started surfacing state-side. Only after I ordered did I notice the scant length: a mere 69 pages.

It may be diminutive, but the packaging is lovely -- a matte paper with strong graphics (and the whimsical, inexplicable shuttlecock! so perfect for this story). And it's a mere 6 and half inches tall. Utterly adorable.

Like Fatou, I am now wondering, am I really a slave?

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