Namwali Serpell est née en 1980 en Zambie. Elle vient de recevoir pour « The Sack » le Prix littéraire Caine, décerné à la meilleure nouvelle en langue anglaise écrite par un écrivain d’origine africaine. « The Sack » est un extrait de THE OLD DRIFT, dont le manuscrit complet devrait être disponible sous 18 mois. Le talent de Namwali Serpell n’a manqué d’être immédiatement remarqué par le Guardian et la BBC.
The Great Zambian novel you didn’t know you were waiting for, written by one of the most exciting new African writers
THE OLD DRIFT
by Namwali Serpell
Hogarth, Late 2017/Early 2018
THE OLD DRIFT is a vast and ambitious, episodic narrative about a curse that affects three generations, that takes us from Livingstone’s ‘discovery’ of Victoria Falls in 1855, through the foundation of Northern Rhodesia, its transformation into Zambia, the Zambian Space Program of the 1960s (with astronauts called Afronauts), to the southern Africa of 2050. It is broken into three parts, narrating The Grandmothers, The Mothers and the Children of one family, playing with and subverting classic fiction tropes, including magical realism, and even science fiction.
Namwali arrives with a tremendous amount of acclaim: her first published story was selected for the Best American Short Stories; she was just awarded the Caine Prize; she received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award; and was chosen to be one of the Africa39, representing the 39 best African born writers under 40 working in the world. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Tuition Scholarship this year. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, n+1, McSweeney’s, Bidoun, Callaloo, The L.A. Review of Books, The SF Chronicle, and The Guardian.