Reviews

  • Diamond-sharp, timely and urgent... Written in a distilled, minimalist prose, Assembly is illuminating on everything from micro aggressions in the workplace, to the reality of living in the "hostile environment", to the legacy of British colonialism

    Observer, Best Debuts of 2021
  • Assembly is brilliant. Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway meets Citizen by Claudia Rankine. Natasha Brown's ability to slide between the tiniest, most telling detail and the edifice of history, the assemblage of so many lives in so many times and places, is as breathtakingly graceful as it is mercilessly true

    Olivia Sudjic, author of 'Asylum Road'
  • I read it compulsively in a single sitting. Assembly expertly draws out the difficulties of assembling a coherent self in the face of myriad structural oppressions. Casting a wry look at faded aristocrats, financial insiders and smug liberals, Natasha Brown takes the conventional tics of the English novel - the repressed emotion and clipped speech - and drains away the nostalgia. What's left is something hard and true

    Will Harris, author of 'Mixed Race Superman' and 'Rendang'
  • Set over 24 hours as an unnamed Black British woman prepares to attend a garden party hosted by her boyfriend's wealthy parents. With a clear eye she assesses her experience of corporate culture with its embedded racism, her awful boss, the myth of true social mobility... A short but exceptionally powerful novel from a gifted new writer

    Bookseller (Editor's Choice pick)
  • 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'
  • In this excoriating indictment of the white supremacy underpinning the office space, Natasha Brown shows us the triple bind under which Black British Women live. How can there be wholeness in a society which demands so often that Black women melt parts of themselves down so that the machinery can shape them anew? I have scarcely read a work of fiction which confronts me so clearly and viscerally with the nature of injustice in our contemporary moment. This is an important work from a writer I hope we'll be hearing from for a long, long time

    Kayo Chingonyi, author of 'A Blood Condition'
  • 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'
  • This marvel of a novel manages to say all there is to say about Britain today in the most precise, poetic prose and within the story of one complicated, compelling woman. Formally thrilling, politically captivating, endlessly absorbing... I will never forget where I was when I read it, how I felt at the start of it and by the end - it takes you on a complete carousel of a life lived both in dread and in defiance. Superb.

    Sabrina Mahfouz, poet & playwright, ‘A History of Water in the Middle East’
  • 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'
  • Deft, essential, and a novel of poetic consideration, Assembly holds (the Black-British) identity in its hands, examining it until it becomes both truer and stranger - a question more than an answer. I nodded, I mhmmed, I sighed (and laughed knowingly, bitterly)

    Rachel Long, Folio Prize-shortlisted author of 'My Darling From the Lions'

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