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The Old Drift
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Namwali Serpell
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell at Abbey's Bookshop,

The Old Drift

Namwali Serpell


9781781090503

HOGARTH PR


Fiction & Literature;
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945);
Sagas


Paperback

576 pages

$32.99
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From the winner of the Caine Prize comes the Great Zambian novel you didn't know you were waiting for Namwali Serpell's ground-shaking debut novel is an epic story of three generations of three Zambian families - one black, one brown and one white. Unfolding over 200 years, but set mainly in the twentieth century, one family begins in Italy, another in England and the third in Zambia.

The three families' lives become entwined as each is plagued by a curse passed on down the generations. Hugely ambitious, each of the three 'books' that make up the novel - The Grandmothers, The Mothers, The Children - engages with a different genre of writing, satirizing the kind of language historically used to describe Africa, whilst celebrating the diversity and hybridity of African culture.

Playful, full of humour and utterly captivating in its storytelling - this is a colossal novel that you can live in. Sprawling out across time and space, it recalls One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, animating a culture that cannot escape its colonial past, but which yearns for greatness.

By:   Namwali Serpell
Imprint:   HOGARTH PR
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 41mm
Weight:   689g
ISBN:   9781781090503
ISBN 10:   1781090505
Pages:   576
Publication Date:   April 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

NAMWALI SERPELL is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers? Award for women writers in 2011 and was selected for the Africa 39, a 2014 Hay Festival project to identify the best African writers under 40. Her first published story, 'Muzungu', was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African writing. She won the 2015 Caine Prize for her story 'The Sack'. The Old Drift is her first novel.


It's difficult to think of another novel that is at once so sweepingly ambitious and so intricately patterned, delivering the pleasures of saga and poetry in equal measure. The Old Drift is an endlessly innovative, voraciously brilliant book, and Namwali Serpell is among the most distinctive and exciting writers to emerge in years. -- Garth Greenwell An astonishing novel, a riot for the senses, filled with the music and scents and sensations of Zambia. Namwali Serpell writes about people, land and longing with such compassionate humour and precision, there's an old wisdom in these pages. In short, make room on your shelf next to a few of your other favourites: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tsisi Dangarembga and Edwidge Danticat jump to mind. It's brilliant. This woman was born to write! -- Alexandra Fuller From the poetry and subtle humor constantly alive in its language, to the cast of fulsome characters that defy simple categorization, The Old Drift is a novel that satisfies on all levels. Namwali Serpell excels in creating portraits of resilience-each unique and often heartbreaking. In The Old Drift the individual struggle is cast against a world of shifting principles and politics, and Serpell captures the quicksand nature of a nation's roiling change with exacting precision. My only regret is that once begun, I reached the end all too soon. -- Alice Sebold In turns charming, heartbreaking, and breathtaking, The Old Drift is a staggeringly ambitious, genre-busting multigenerational saga with moxie for days... I wanted it to go on forever. A worthy heir to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. -- Carmen Maria Machado The Old Drift is an extraordinary meditation on identity, the history of a nation, love, politics, family, friendship and life. Serpell's prose is dazzling. Darting back and forth through the decades and mixing different genres, Namwali has delivered an original, remarkable, magical work that both delights and challenges. -- Chika Unigwe

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