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Reading with Namwali Serpell
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Sanborn Library (view on campus map)
The Department of English and Creative Writing warmly invites you to an event with Namwali Serpell, Professor of English at Harvard University and author of the acclaimed debut novel The Old Drift (Hogarth 2019). Serpell will be reading from her highly anticipated second novel, The Furrows: An Elegy. A Q&A and book signing will follow the reading.
Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer and a Professor of English at Harvard. Her first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction "that confronts racism and explores diversity," the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the L.A. Times' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction in 2020. It was shortlisted for the L.A. Times' Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction; longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize; and named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, one of Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of the Year, and a book of the year by New York Times critics, The Atlantic, and NPR. In the New York Times Book Review, Salman Rushdie called it "a dazzling debut, establishing Namwali Serpell as a writer on the world stage." Her second novel, The Furrows, was published September 2022.
Her short story, "Take It," was shortlisted for the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. She's a recipient of a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction and a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, and in 2014, she was chosen as one of the Africa 39, a Hay Festival project to identify the most promising 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. She went on to win the 2015 Caine Prize for "The Sack."
Her book of essays, Stranger Faces, published by Transit Books in 2020, was a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, and the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award for literary scholarship or criticism, and was long listed for The Believer Book Award for Nonfiction. Her New York Times Magazine essay on the Kariba Dam, "River of Time," was included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2021. Her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty, was published in 2014 by Harvard UP. You can read her work in the New Yorker online, McSweeney's, The Believer, Tin House, n+1, the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and the New York Review of Books.