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Can You Tell a Lot About Debut Novelists From Their Times Book Review Covers?

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THE BOOK
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
9/7/03
Reviewed by Michael Gorra

PRE-REVIEW BUZZ
Well, Ali had already been labeled “the next Zadie Smith.”

LEAST-FAVORABLE PART OF THE REVIEW
At the end, “the book finally slips into soft focus”—but Gorra notes that Dickens made the same rookie mistake in Oliver Twist.

SALES
1 million worldwide.


CAREER TRAJECTORY
The movie wrapped (though marred by protests from South Asian Brits). But second book, Alentejo Blue, had mixed reception, paltry sales.


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