Natasha Brown

I don't want to be a part of it. I want to grab it, grab its face and pull open its mouth, prize its jaws apart and reach down, in, deeper. Touch what's inside. Set over the course of 48 hours, Natasha Brown's staggering debut follows an unnamed narrator as she prepares to attend a garden party at the posh estate of her boyfriend's parents. She is aware that she is heading into a space where she will be appraised and tokenized, but she is used to that. After all, she spends most of her time accommodating the needs, projections, and prejudices of others -- at the investment bank where she works, in her relationship with a man who has political aspirations, in a country where she is treated as an exploitable resource. All her life, she has worked twice as hard, mastered the art of "assimilation," and swallowed microaggressions with a smile. Now she's got it all: the glistening City career, a glamorous Lean In feminist for a best friend, and her wealthy boyfriend is about to propose. She's a success story. So why is she suddenly thinking about ending it all? While dismantling the narratives she's been fed (and made complicit in), she transports the reader across centuries, memories, and snatches of conversation, and begins to look hard at those who have spent their lives watching her. Blisteringly intelligent and utterly fearless, Assembly is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life.

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