The Embassy of Cambodia The fact is if we followed the history of every little country in the world in its dramatic as well as its quiet times we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to

  • Title: The Embassy of Cambodia
  • Author: Zadie Smith
  • ISBN: 9780241146521
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world in its dramatic as well as its quiet times we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming First published this Spring in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and The fact is, if we followed the history of every little country in the world in its dramatic as well as its quiet times we would have no space left in which to live our own lives or apply ourselves to our necessary tasks, never mind indulge in occasional pleasures, like swimming First published this Spring in the New Yorker, The Embassy of Cambodia is a rare and brilliant story that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, NW London, Zadie Smith s absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how the apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, extraordinary questions.

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    One thought on “The Embassy of Cambodia”

    1. Was it wrong to hope to be happy?Whenever I get foul tempered about my work being overly demanding, a haranguing inner voice whispers “check your privileges” in my ear, thinking of the incredible high level of protection and good working conditions I enjoy, and recalling my mother’s. Like so many daughters from the working class that couldn’t afford another choice, she was obliged at 14 to leave school and her family and go live with and work for a local doctor’s household as a servant [...]

    2. 5 "outstanding, poignant, chaotic yet ordered" stars !!!Fatou is from Africa. She understands little and experiences so much. She is at times violated and yet lives life fully, beautifully and at times full of mirth. She is ignorant and in her own ways is racist, sexist but wants to learn and understand. She really does not know how to love but she knows how to swim, watch badminton matches and wonder about Cambodians while not fully grasping her journey from country to country and finally livin [...]

    3. The Embassy of Cambodia is a multi layered short story by Zadie Smith that originally appeared in the New Yorker in November 2013. Following the life of an Ivory Coast immigrant to London named Fatou, Smith details how race, gender, and ethnic group play a role in ones station in life. A mere 67 pages in book form, Smith's story gave insights into London's immigrant culture. In search of a better life than the Ivory Coast had to offer, Fatou moves with her father to Libya then Italy and finally [...]

    4. This excellent short story by Zadie Smith first appeared in the New Yorker in February 2013. It tells the story of a young woman, Fatou, who has fled the Ivory Coast to make a better life for herself in the west. She works as a maid for a wealthy Pakistani family, the Derawals, in Willesden, North West London – familiar Smith territory – near the Embassy of Cambodia. Every Monday, Fatou manages to slip out of the house for a few precious hours of freedom, when she uses the family’s guest p [...]

    5. One of the consequences of the globalisation of labour markets has been an increasing number of the quasi-legal as service workers in the major cities of the world – people like Fatou, at the centre of this short story. She has been brought to London under dubious circumstances, kept in utter dependency by a wealthy Willesden family and, just like the Cambodian Embassy nearby, slightly out of place.The best stories humanise major issues and can take us behind the generic to find the particular [...]

    6. This is a short story that Zadie Smith wrote and had published in The New Yorker. This is the story more elaborated but it is being marketed as a small book. Actually it's a short story or novella. Nevertheless I enjoyed it and wished it was much longer. It is the story of Fatou a live-in maid and baby-sitter that is working for a wealthy Arab family living in Willesden a borough of Brent i North West London, which is a borough of Brent in North West London. They have taken her passport so she i [...]

    7. If you're going to market what is essentially a 20 page short story (and if you removed the "chapter" breaks and printed this in a more standard format that is what it amounts to) as a hardback book for £7.99, it better be a fantastic story, worthy of Munro or Carver. And whilst I like Zadie Smith's writing (I've read and enjoyed all four of her novels) this is alas pretty run-of-the-mill stuff. As part of a collection I'd perhaps look on it more favourably, but in this format the reader is bei [...]

    8. 3.5 rounded downMy first Zadie Smith! This short story comes in at 60-something pages in book form, but I'm pretty sure you can still read it online as it was originally published in the New Yorker. We follow Ivorian domestic servant, Fatou, who works for a well-off family in Willesden, London. She often passes the Embassy of Cambodia on her way to the health centre of which the family are members, where she goes swimming using their guest pass (something the family are unaware of).As other revi [...]

    9. The Embassy of Cambodia is a short story by British author, Zadie Smith. Fatou’s passage out of Ivory Coast, via Ghana and Libya, included a sojourn in Italy before she landed a job with the Derewals in NW London. While they withhold her passport and her wages, and she is certainly is not well treated, her not-quite-slavery does allow her a certain amount of freedom. The Derewals live in Willesden, and her freedom includes being able to attend church with her friend Andrew Okonkwo on Sundays, [...]

    10. Short story that can be completed in less than an hour. I enjoyed this and would rate it a 3.5/5 stars. This author's writing is great. Definitely will check out more of her work. Fatou is a great character in this book and the whole slavery and self identity issues were great to read.

    11. A beautiful short story by Zadie Smith, The Embassy of Cambodia was originally published in the New Yorker. In 69 short pages, this stout little book offers an insight on modern-day slave trade, and the ways in which systemic racism affects the safety, security, and prosperity of immigrants in the Western world. The book's namesake embassy plays the role of a reflecting pool; our heroine, Fatou, weighs the atrocities in Cambodia to the atrocities her own Ghanian (and African) ancestors faced. Wh [...]

    12. Flawless. A wonderful gift to your head between longer books. Reminds me of The Ocean at the End of the Lane for the sheer economy of language and captivation of my attention

    13. Kurze Geschichte über eine vermeintliche Botschaft, erzählt aus der Sicht einer jungen Frau, die von der Elfenbeinküste stammt. Eine Geflüchtete ohne Rechte und Papiere, die viel über ihr direktes Umfeld und die Welt nachdenkt. Das Ende liest sich wie der Auftakt zur eigentlichen Geschichte.

    14. ”Sicuramente ci sono dei vantaggi nel tracciare un cerchio intorno alla propria attenzione e rimanerci dentro. Ma quanto dev'essere grande questo cerchio?”A cosa facciamo caso?Cosa, invece, escludiamo a priori dalla nostra attenzione?Fatou dalla Costa d'Avorio arriva a Londra a fare la domestica in una famiglia che non le mostra né attenzioni né rispetto.All'entrata di una villa del quartiere periferico compare all'improvviso una targa di ottone che dice:«Ambasciata di Cambogia ». Una no [...]

    15. Beginning and ending outside the Embassy of Cambodia, which happens to be located in Willesden, NW London, Zadie Smith's absorbing, moving and wryly observed story suggests how apparently small things in an ordinary life always raise larger, more extraordinary questions.'Are we born to suffer? Sometimes I think we are born to suffer more than all the rest.'The Embassy of Cambodia is my first exposure to Zadie Smith's writing. I don't know what it is about her, but her novels seem to be either hi [...]

    16. This book is way out of the range it should charge its readers, but I did like it. It is much better written than NW. The maid reminds me a lot of maids I met or saw in Hong Kong and Macau, either they are struggling with their lives, or they are enjoying their "meeting" in Victoria Park. How's their lives? Like a shuttlecock? I don't know. But Zadie's short story brought me to her imagination of a "one-day" life of this maid, maybe any maid. It's just, maybe, too simple their lives, but you are [...]

    17. || ফতেউ এর ঈশ্বর ও একটি শাটল কক||[ The embassy of Cambodia, Zadie Smith, Hamish Hamilton, 2013, p.69, Rs. 399/- ]পক-স্ম্যাশ-পক-স্ম্যাশ!উত্তর-পশ্চিম লন্ডনের সাব-আর্বে, কম্বোডিয়ার এই দূতাবাসটি বাড়িটির থাকা খুব আশ্চর্যজনক না হলেও, একেবারে যে সাধ [...]

    18. That was soooo good. Zadie Smith is an amazing writer; she has that balance between descriptive and bland writing. It was so easy to get attached this story, Fatou's story, and to her as a main character.I enjoyed the diversity too, which wasn't the emphasis on this short story but obviously where the characters came from effected their positions (Fatou was really a refugee coming to work). When I first started the story I thought Fatou was a young, white male or something, and I was pleasantly [...]

    19. I read Smith's Changing my Mind last year and really loved it, but this short story/novella (which was apparently first published in The New Yorker) was my first encounter with her fiction. It's so tightly contained, and yet it really gives you a sense of a whole wide world. The split narration structure—one close third narrator following the main character, Fatou, and one unnamed first person narrator standing in for 'us,' the people of the Willesden neighborhood where the story takes place [...]

    20. Take note: this is not a new, full-length Zadie Smith novel, as I thought when I first saw it advertised, but a short story originally published in the New Yorker. It’s a slender but important tale about the fragility of sympathy: “Gratitude was just another kind of servitude. Better to make your own arrangements.” As usual with Smith, you get an interesting interplay of race and class among North London immigrants. I especially like her occasional use of the first-person plural perspectiv [...]

    21. The length didn't bother me, although I feel that The Embassy of Cambodia would work better as a longer short story.This is the tale of Fatou, a foreign maid who works for the ungrateful and colourless Derawal family. It tells of her secret adventures with club poolside swims and misadventures as to what constitutes for a painful destinyInitially, I approached my new Zadie Smith with interest and an open mind.I was startled when the first few pages brought on a yawn. The stifled badminton games [...]

    22. Η συγκεκριμένη ιστορία δεν είναι όπως τις άλλες. Είναι μία ιστορία που φαινομενικά δεν λέει τόσα πολλά, αλλά αν κάτσεις και σκεφτείς αργότερα όσα διάβασες, θα σε βάλει σε πολλές, πάρα πολλές σκέψεις για διάφορα θέματα. Μέσα από την ιστορία μαθαίνουμε για τη ζωή και τους προβ [...]

    23. I suppose it's a bit cheap to use a 69 page novella/short-story to rake in a +1 for my book challenge, but apparently I'm a cheap, cheap man. In any case, the length of this story does not preclude its being excellent and worthy of attention.I tried to get into Zadie Smith via NW. As is not uncommon in my discovery of new writers, I grew to like her and her life-story and ideas before I knew much about her work. I grabbed her most recently published thing because I thought it'd be representative [...]

    24. 3.5 starsI loved this! Wouldn't have minded though if it were a bit longer. I definitely need to read some of Zadie Smith's books, she seems like a v talented writer.

    25. A Little Slice of SmithOn more than one occasion, I’ve heard or read Zadie Smith’s expressions of distaste for the rigid “show, don’t tell” school of creators. In “The Embassy of Cambodia,” she makes a strong case for telling.I should note before I offer up my impression that if you don’t look closely, you might assume this is a novel. At just under nine-thousand words, it is not. This short story was originally published in The New Yorker and later reprinted as a standalone book [...]

    26. This is a miniature gem. By miniature I mean it is 69 pages long; I read it in the 40 minutes I was waiting in the public library for my meeting to begin. Smith's language is precise, calm, measured; the story is completely self contained. It is just that bit more than a short story.

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