Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"The Embassy of Cambodia" by Zadie Smith (in The New Yorker, Feb.11, 2013)

This is the third story by Zadie Smith I have read. I hope to read many more. There are two of her short stories in the archives of The New Yorker (open for a while).  Each her stories I have so far read took me deeply into the lives of their subjects in just a few pages.  My main purpose in this post is to keep a record of having read this story and to,give my readers a link where this story can be read. 

"The Embassy of Cambodia", set in London,  centers on a woman from Ghanna, working as a maid for a couple from Pakistan.  She tells herself she is not a slave like a woman she read about in the newspaper.  Her employers keep most of her wages for her room and board and the wife has only slapped her twice.  The two children scream at her when they want something.  Cambodia has recently moved their embassy to a house in their neighborhood.  Her biggest pleasure in life is using a guest pass to swim at a sports club where are employers have a membership.  She also has a sort of boyfriend she has coffee with.  We learn a lot about her life back in Ghanna.  We feel what it might be like to be a servant for people who barely see you as human.  

"The Embassy of Cambodia" is a first rate short story very much worth the few minutes it will take to read it.

Please share your experience with Zadie Smith with us.

Mel u

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