THE OLD DRIFT
This is the first novel ever to tell the story of Zambia from its very beginnings to the present day and beyond. Crossing centuries, borders, and genres, this electrifying debut tells a sweeping tale of a small African country, its origins and the trials and tribulations of its people.
With playful language, Serpell masterfully blends historical fiction, fairy-tale fables, romance, and science fiction. On each page, she turns stereotypes and tropes on their heads, unsettling the stories we think we know about Africa, from colonialism to migration, gender to race, poverty to politics, and nationhood to technology. Through THE OLD DRIFT's cast of vivid charactersincluding Zambia, which proves to be a character itselfSerpell shows that, if to err is human, then even the slightest error can still be a powerful force for transformation. Incisive, expansive, and subversive, THE OLD DRIFT announces Namwali Serpell as a major new literary talent.
NAMWALI SERPELL is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her story "The Sack." She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for women writers in 2011 and was selected for the Africa39, a 2014 Hay Festival project to identify the best African writers under forty. Her first published story, "Muzungu," was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the New Yorker, McSweeney's, The Believer, Tin House, Triple Canopy, Callaloo, n+1, Cabinet, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and the New York Review of Books.
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