The Fraud

The Fraud

The Instant Sunday Times Bestseller

Summary

Book of the Year 2023 according to New York Times, New Yorker, Guardian, Economist, Observer, The Spectator, Financial Times, Vogue, The Times, The Oldie, i Paper, The Standard, Washington Post, Independent, Daily Express

SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WRITERS’ PRIZE FOR FICTION 2024
ONE OF SARAH JESSICA PARKER’S BEST BOOKS OF 2023


‘A writer at the peak of her powers’ The Telegraph

Truth and fiction. Jamaica and Britain. Who gets to tell their story?

In her first historical novel, Zadie Smith transports the reader to a Victorian England transfixed by the real-life trial of the Tichborne Claimant, in which a cockney butcher, recently returned from Australia, lays claim to the Tichborne baronetcy, with his former slave Andrew Bogle as star witness. Watching the proceedings, and with her own story to tell, is Eliza Touchet – cousin, housekeeper and perhaps more – to failing novelist William Harrison Ainsworth.

From literary London to the Jamaica’s sugar-cane plantations, Zadie Smith weaves an enthralling story linking the rich and the poor, the free and the enslaved, and the comic and the tragic.

‘It’s difficult to give any idea of how extraordinary this book is. One of the great historical novels, certainly. But has any historical novel ever combined such brilliantly researched and detailed history with such intensely imagined fiction?' Michael Frayn

‘As always it is a pleasure to be in Zadie Smith’s mind . . . Dickens may be dead, but Smith, thankfully, is alive’ New York Times

‘Zadie Smith’s Victorian-set masterpiece holds a mirror up to Britain . . . The Fraud is the genuine article’ Independent

‘Smith’s dazzling historical novel combines deft writing and strenuous construction in a tale of literary London and the horrors of slavery’ Guardian

Reviews

  • No one understands humans better. As this novel shows, there is no better guide to people and their bottomlessness than Smith herself
    iNews

About the author

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time; as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia; three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations; a collection of short stories, Grand Union; and the play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie Smith was born in north-west London, where she still lives. The Fraud is her first historical novel.

Date: 2013-08-06
Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as The Embassy of Cambodia and the essay collection, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has twice been listed as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Novelists. She has won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award among many others, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.
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