Past Event

Creative Writing Lecture: Namwali Serpell

March 10, 2021
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer and Professor of English at Harvard. Her first novel, The Old Drift (Hogarth, 2019), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book prize for fiction “that confronts racism and explores diversity,” the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the L.A. Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction in 2020. It was short listed for the L.A. Times’ Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, long listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and named one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year, and a book of the year by New York Times CriticsThe AtlanticNPR, and BuzzFeed.

She is a recipient of a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction. In 2014, she was chosen as one of the Africa 39, a Hay Festival project to identify the most promising African writers under 40. In 2011, she received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009 and short listed for the 2010 Caine Prize; she went on to win the 2015 Caine Prize for “The Sack.”

Her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. Her second book of essays, Stranger Faces, is forthcoming with Transit Books in Fall 2020. Her nonfiction book, American Psycho Analysis, is forthcoming with Columbia University Press.

Namwalli Serpell
About the Creative Writing Lecture Series

The Creative Writing Lecture Series brings distinguished writers to Columbia for original talks on craft. Recent guests have included John Keene, Sarah Manguso, Lynne Tillman, and Carmen Maria Machado.