The main character of The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith is Fatou. She is an immigrant from the Ivory Coast who works as a live-in maid and nanny for a family that does not pay her. Because of this, Fatou has very little personal freedom and is dependent on her employers.
Andrew is Fatou’s only friend, whom she goes to church with on Sundays. After church, they go to a Tunisian café where they discuss different theological questions.
The Derawal family are also important characters worth mentioning. They are Fatou’s employers who limit her personal freedoms, treating her like a modern-day slave and showing her no respect.
Throughout the novella, Fatou’s relationship to Andrew and the Derawals changes and evolves.