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May 15, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Namwali Serpell’s electrifying debut, THE OLD DRIFT, is the first novel ever to tell the story of Zambia from its very beginnings to the present day—and beyond.
Crossing centuries, borders, and genres, THE OLD DRIFT tells a sweeping tale of a small African country as it comes into being, and the trials and tribulations of its people. Their stories, told by a mysterious swarm-like chorus that calls itself man’s greatest nemesis, form an epic meditation on what it means to be human.
With playful language, Serpell masterfully blends historical fiction, fairy-tale fables, romance, and science fiction. On each page, she turns stereotypes and tropes on their heads, unsettling the stories we think we know about Africa, from colonialism to migration, gender to race, poverty to politics, and nationhood to technology. Through THE OLD DRIFT’s cast of vivid characters—including Zambia, which proves to be a character itself—Serpell shows that, if to err is human, then even the slightest error can still be a powerful force for transformation. Incisive, expansive, and subversive, THE OLD DRIFT announces Namwali Serpell as a major new literary talent.
Museum of African Diaspora 685 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105