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The New York Times bestseller • One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year • One of NPR's Best Books of the Year • Named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly “[A] brilliant new entry in Smith’s catalog

The Fraud is not a change for Smith, but a demonstration of how expansive her talents are.” —Los Angeles Times From acclaimed and bestselling novelist Zadie Smith, a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, about who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed It is 1873


Eliza Touchet is the Scottish housekeeper—and cousin by marriage—of a once-famous novelist, now in decline, William Ainsworth, with whom she has lived for thirty years


Touchet is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next

But she is also sceptical

She suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr

Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist; and England of being a land of facades, in which nothing is quite what it seems

Andrew Bogle, meanwhile, grew 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 realize

When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story

The “Tichborne Trial”—wherein a lower-class butcher from Australia claimed he was in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title—captivates Mrs

Touchet and all of England

Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is? Or is he a fraud? Mrs

Touchet is a woman of the world


Bogle is no fool

But in a world of hypocrisy and self-deception, deciding what is real proves a complicated task

Based on real historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity and the mystery of “other people.”

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