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The Fraud

Zadie Smith author

Format:Hardback

Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd

Published:7th Sep '23

Should be back in stock very soon

This hardback is available in other editions too:

The Fraud cover

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
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION 2024


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

Truth and fiction. Jamaica and Britain. Who gets to tell their story? Zadie Smith returns with her first historical novel.

Kilburn, 1873. The 'Tichborne Trial' has captivated the widowed Scottish housekeeper Mrs Eliza Touchet and all of England. Readers are at odds over whether the defendant is who he claims to be - or an imposter.

Mrs Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her novelist cousin and his wives, this life and the next. But she is also sceptical. She suspects England of being a land of façades, in which nothing is quite what it seems.

Andrew Bogle meanwhile finds himself the star witness, his future depending on telling the right story. Growing up enslaved on the Hope Plantation, Jamaica, he knows every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. That the rich deceive the poor. And that people are more easily manipulated than they realise.

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about how in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what's true can prove a complicated task.

‘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? Or such a range of living, breathing, surprising characters with such an idiosyncratically structured narrative?’ Michael Frayn

‘As always it is a pleasure to be in Zadie Smith’s mind, which, as time goes on, is becoming contiguous with London itself. 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...

No one understands humans better. As this novel shows, there is no better guide to people and their bottomlessness than Smith herself * iNews *
This was really delightful. 10/10. Zadie Smith is a genius -- Brandon Taylor author of The Late Americans
A novel full of people, ideas, humour, feeling and something like moral truth – the stuff of life * Evening Standard *
Searingly original [and] virtuosic . . . the book masterfully depicts post-emancipation Britain as it ruptures along faultlines of class and race * Vogue *
Brilliant. A Dickensian delight * Los Angeles Times *
The Fraud is unlike anything you’ll read this year: a charismatic, cerebral novel that asks us to consider the greatest fraud of all, that of one man claiming to hold the key to another’s freedom * Irish Times *
Affecting and devastating . . . In typical Zadie style, the narrative structure and decade leaping require you to pay attention – but you’re heavily rewarded with the sheer breadth of the novel and its vividly painted characters * Independent, '24 best summer books 2024' *
A wonderful meditation on truth and falsehood, and the boundaries between fact and fiction * Spectator *
A big, rich saga, tumbling with characters and big issues (feminism, slavery, truth) * The Times, 'Best Novels of 2023' *
The Fraud is a complex mosaic of interweaving plots . . . The novel pulls off the trick of being both splendidly modern and authentically old and the characters are varied and entertaining * Independent, ‘Best Books of 2023’ *
Ambitious in both style and subject matter, and bursting with Smith’s trademark sprightly dialogue, The Fraud is also very funny * Guardian, 'Summer reading' *

ISBN: 9780241336991

Dimensions: 238mm x 156mm x 42mm

Weight: 680g

464 pages