Books

Debut Novels by Jesse McCarthy, Gabriel Krauze and Mohamed Mbougar Sarr

By Caleb Azumah Nelson

WHO THEY WAS
By Gabriel Krauze
331 pp. Bloomsbury. $26.

One doesn’t necessarily have to be from there to recognize the North West London of Gabriel Krauze’s “Who They Was.” I imagine it might sound familiar to someone from South East London, too, or the Banlieue in Paris, even the South Side of Chicago. The narrator, Snoopz, tells us of a life of people fenced in and surveilled, where cameras high in the sky swing side to side, always watchful, where police are quick to raid, ransacking council flats and people’s lives with swift ease.

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