• Interview

    Podcast #3: Namwali Serpell

    Namwali Serpell is an award-winning author and associate professor of English at UC Berkeley.  Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009, shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize. Five years later she won the Caine Prize with her story „The Sack“. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, was published in March to much acclaim. (I wrote about five aspects I loved about The Old Drift.) Serpell also regularly publishes essays such as “The Banality of Empathy” or “Beauty Tips From My Dead Sister“. We talked about crossing genres, writing diverse female experiences, mosquitos, re-evaluating history, and why empathy is not everything.  This episode was recorded during the African Book…

  • Lists,  Review

    5 Reasons Why I Loved Namwali Serpell’s The Old Drift

    In 2009, Namwali Serpell’s short story “Muzungu” published in Callaloo was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and a year later it was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing (a prize she would go on winning five years later). Now, this story – reworked – sits in the middle of Serpell’s spellbinding, epic 560-pages long debut novel The Old Drift. After having finished it, I felt like I had just read five different books. It is so rich, brimming with ideas, fantastical in it turns.  While I am still gathering all my thoughts (for a more thorough review published elsewhere) and already planning a re-read, I want to share…

  • Lists

    January, February, March: 15(+) Most-Anticipated Books

    While I am aware that January is almost over I decided nonetheless to share some of the books published in the first quarter of 2019 I can’t await to read. I share brief descriptions of the book (either from Goodreads or the publisher’s page, sometimes abridged) and in a few words why I am excited about this book! January The Winter of the Witch (Katherine Arden) Synopsis: “Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war…