This short book packs an outsized punch, as a Black British woman with a high-flying career must confront the dehumanizing treatment she experiences in every aspect of her carefully assembled life. This powerful novel is revelatory and unflinching. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
One woman. One day. One decision. A blistering, fearless, and unforgettable literary debut from "a stunning new writer." (Bernardine Evaristo)
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.
"A modern Mrs. Dalloway." The Guardian
"Mind-bending and utterly original." Brandon Taylor
"Slim in the hand, but its impact is massive." Ali Smith
"Assembly is brilliant. Brown's gaze is piercing. Each sentence is a perfectly polished jewel." Avni Doshi, author of Burnt Sugar
"Assembly is an astonishing work. Formally innovative, as beautiful as it is coolly devastating, urgent and utterly precise on what it means to be alive now."
Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure
"Assembly captures the sickening weightlessness a Black British woman, who has been obedient to and complicit with the capitalist system, experiences as she makes life decisions under pressure from the hegemony. Stripped back to prose poetry and at times plainly essayistic, this is a bold and elegant statement, all the more powerful for its brevity." Paul Mendez, author of Rainbow Milk
About the Author
Natasha Brown has spent a decade working in financial services, after studying Maths at Cambridge University. She developed Assembly after receiving a 2019 London Writers Award in the literary fiction category.