Namwali Serpell Calabash Festival

Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer and a Professor of English at Harvard University. She received a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction, the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing, and a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and was selected for the Africa39 in 2014. Her first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction, the Grand Prix des Associations Littéraires Prize for Belles-Lettres, and the L.A. Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction in 2020. It was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year. Her novel, The Furrows: An Elegy (Hogarth, 2022), is long listed for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and the California Book Award for Fiction. It was named one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books and 100 Notable Books of 2022, and one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year. Her nonfiction book, Stranger Faces (Transit, 2020), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. 

Photo: Peg Skorpinski

Twitter: @namwalien