Namwali Serpell‘s debut novel is a wonder. In 1904 in a smoky hotel room on the banks of the Zambezi an Englishman foggy with fever makes a mistake that entangles an Italian hotelier and an African busboy in a cycle of retribution that unfolds over three generations in Zambia. This is ambitious genre crossing writing on a vast canvas and is also hugely enjoyable. Namwali is a Zambian writer who teaches writing at the University of California, Berkeley and we are delighted to welcome her to tell us more of her first novel.
‘Extraordinary, ambitious, evocative… The Old Drift is an impressive book, ranging skillfully between historical and science fiction, shifting gears between political argument, psychological realism and rich fabulism…a dazzling debut, establishing Namwali Serpell as a writer on the world stage’ Salman Rushdie
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