The Old Drift (Paperback)
  • The Old Drift (Paperback)
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The Old Drift (Paperback)

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£9.99
Paperback 576 Pages / Published: 19/03/2020
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Waterstones Says

Subtly humorous and endlessly lyrical, The Old Drift is a spellbinding blend of fairy tale, romance, history and science fiction, filled with unique characters and dazzling prose.  A meditation on love, politics, family, friendship and her homeland Zambia, Serpell’s magical debut heralds the arrival of exquisite new literary talent. 

Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2020

On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift.

In 1904, in a smoky room at the hotel across the river, an Old Drifter named Percy M. Clark, foggy with fever, makes a mistake that entangles his fate with those of an Italian hotelier and an African busboy.

So begins a cycle of unwitting retribution between three Zambian families as they collide and converge over the course of the century, into the present and beyond.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9781784703998
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 453 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'Extraordinary, ambitious, evocative... The Old Drift is an impressive book, ranging skillfully between historical and science fiction, shifting gears between political argument, psychological realism and rich fabulism...a dazzling debut, establishing Namwali Serpell as a writer on the world stage' - Salman Rushdie, The New York Times Book Review 

'Brilliant...there are moments of such heart-wrenching poignancy that I had to put the book down several times and recompose myself. Serpell writes with the emotional maturity and sardonic smile of one who has lived several times already' - Leaf Arbuthnot, The Sunday Times

'An intimate, brainy, gleaming epic... The reader who picks up The Old Drift is likely to be more than simply impressed. This is a dazzling book, as ambitious as any first novel published this decade. It made the skin on the back of my neck prickle...she's such a generous writer. The people and the ideas in The Old Drift, like dervishes, are set whirling' - Dwight Garner, The New York Times

'From the poetry and subtle humor constantly alive in its language, to the cast of fulsome characters that defy simple categorization, The Old Drift is a novel that satisfies on all levels. Namwali Serpell excels in creating portraits of resilience-each unique and often heartbreaking. In The Old Drift the individual struggle is cast against a world of shifting principles and politics, and Serpell captures the quicksand nature of a nation's roiling change with exacting precision. My only regret is that once begun, I reached the end all too soon' - Alice Sebold

'An impressive first novel... The Old Drift is electric with the sense that Serpell is laying down pieces in a puzzle kept teasingly out of sight... A growing sense that The Old Drift could go on for ever is tribute to its inventiveness' - Anthony Cummins, The Observer

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TheBookTrail

“An epic read set in Livingstone, Zambia”

The Old Drift is an epic novel. Both in size and scope. It’s not an easy read and is quite complicated in places but stick with it, as it’s a very unique reading experience. A tale of three families and three threads... More

Hardback edition
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