SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKS ARE MY BAG FICTION AWARD 2021
The acclaimed word-of-mouth hit and break-out debut of the year.
Selected as a Book of the Year 2021 by booksellers, writers and readers:
Observer Best Books of 2021
Guardian Books of the Year
The i paper Books of the Year
New Statesman Book of the Year
Bad Form Book of the Year shortlist
Good Housekeeping Best Books of the Year
Goldsmiths Prize shortlist
Books Are My Bag Fiction Award shortlist
Foyles, Daunt Books, Ignota and Libraria ‘Book of the Year’ selection
‘Assembly left me breathless with admiration. It is the kind of book that makes you feel like we might not need any more novels now, because here is the perfect one’ Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss
‘Diamond-sharp, timely and urgent’ Observer, Best Debuts of 2021
‘Subtle, elegant, scorching… The literary debut of the summer’ Vogue
‘Virtuosic, exquisite, achingly unique’ Guardian
‘I’m full of the hope, on reading it, that this is the kind of book that doesn’t just mark the moment things change, but also makes that change possible’ Ali Smith
‘Exquisite, daring, utterly captivating. A stunning new writer’ Bernardine Evaristo
Come of age in the credit crunch. Be civil in a hostile environment. Step out into a world of Go Home vans. Go to Oxbridge, get an education, start a career. Do all the right things. Buy a flat. 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.
‘One of the most talked-about debuts of the year . . . You’ll read it in one sitting’ Sunday Times Style
‘Expertly crafted, remarkable, astonishing… A literary debut with flavours of Jordan Peele’s Get Out‘ Bookseller, Editor’s Choice
‘Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway meets Citizen by Claudia Rankine… As breathtakingly graceful as it is mercilessly true’ Olivia Sudjic
‘Bold and original, with a cool intelligence, and so very truthful about the colonialist structure of British society’ Diana Evans
‘This marvel of a novel manages to say all there is to say about Britain today’ Sabrina Mahfouz