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Publisher's Summary

A woman confronts the most important question of her life in this blistering, fearless, and unforgettable literary debut from "a stunning new writer" (Bernardine Evaristo).

“A quiet, measured call to revolution.... This is the kind of book that doesn’t just mark the moment things change, but also makes that change possible.” (Ali Smith, author of Summer)

"Brilliant. Brown's gaze is piercing." (Avni Doshi, author of Burnt Sugar)

Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Go to college, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy an apartment. 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?

Assembly is a story about the stories we live within - those of race and class, safety and freedom, winners and losers. And it is about one woman daring to take control of her own story, even at the cost of her life. With a steely, unfaltering gaze, Natasha Brown dismantles the mythology of whiteness, lining up the debris in a neat row and walking away.

"Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway meets Claudia Rankine's Citizen...as breathtakingly graceful as it is mercilessly true.” (Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy and Asylum Road)

©2021 Natasha Brown (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

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

“Bold and original, with a cool intelligence, and so very truthful about the colonialist structure of British society: how it has poisoned even our language, making its necessary dismantling almost the stuff of dreams. I take hope from Assembly, not just for our literature but also for our slow awakening.” (Diana Evans, author of Ordinary People)

"A stunning achievement of compressed narrative and fearless articulation.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Assembly

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CLIFFHANGER!!

My father recommended this book! Said it was BRILLIANT! Best he’d read in ages! Will read again soon! On and ON! Gave it a chance because I adored my last Black Brit Book “Girl Woman Other”
It took me a while to warm up to it because I was a bit put off by her time jumping style, however it picked up when she started talking about the colonial history of Britain (I am a history teacher so this spoke to me) and got more into the complicated and performative dynamics with her Wealthy White Political boyfriend!! Just as I was hooked and committed to the characters it ended ABRUPTLY!!
Superbly written and Wonderfully narrated!!
I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment!!

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Excellent eye opening read

I was not expecting to walk away with a greater understanding of the daily, hourly, sometimes minute by minute racism faced by black Americans. This writer describes it so well you experience what this woman is going through. And it’s a great story well written and well read.

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HATED IT

Having difficulty determining why this book was so highly rated. I hated it. I constantly looked to see how much more there was left. this was the longest 2 hours of my life.

recommendation: Skip it