Monica Ali: An encounter with fate

Monica Ali's début Brick Lane (Doubleday, £12.99, 2nd June, 038560484X), which was acquired with much fanfare by Transworld and has already taken its author on to Granta's Best of Young British list, arrives with a heavy weight of expectation, which can be a mixed blessing for newcomers. However, all hype apart, this acute, involving and slyly humorous book is rapidly winning over many fans within the trade.

Brick Lane asks the reader to imagine him or herself into the world of Nazneen, a young woman born in a village in Bangladesh who goes to live with her older husband Chanu on a council...

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