The Old Drift
by Namwali Serpell
Books > Fiction
‘Extraordinary, ambitious, evocative, dazzling’ SALMAN RUSHDIE
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.
‘Brilliant . . . heartbreaking’ Sunday Times
‘Electric . . . Serpell is a major talent’ Financial Times
‘A novel that satisfies on all levels’ Alice Sebold
‘Charming, heartbreaking and breathtaking’ Carmen Maria Machado
Shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2020
Longlisted for the Debut Crown Historical Writers Association Award 2019
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize 2019