Task 2A: The Immigrant Experience - challenges and opportunities

In the following section, we will turn our attention to an extract from “The Embassy of Cambodia” by Zadie Smith. We will summarize the text and focus on Fatou’s experience, compared to the immigrant experience of other characters from English-language books and films. We will also add some points for you to consider when you discuss what you have learned about challenges and opportunities immigrants might have in their new lives.

Summary: “The Embassy of Cambodia”

First published in the New Yorker, “The Embassy of Cambodia” is a mini-novel that takes us deep into the life of a young woman, Fatou, a domestic servant to the Derawals and escapee from one set of hardships to another.

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975. She is the author of the novels “NW”, “White Teeth”, “The Autograph Man” and “On Beauty”, and of a collection of essays, “Changing My Mind”.

The excerpt in the exam set presents a short episode of Fatou's employment at the Derawals, a family living in London. Fat...

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