The Furrows

The Furrows

From the Prize-winning author of The Old Drift


A powerful new novel about grief and mourning from the acclaimed and prize-winning author of The Old Drift


I don't want to tell you what happened. I want to tell you how it felt.

Cassandra is twelve; her little brother Wayne is seven. One day, when they're alone together, there's an accident and Wayne is lost forever. Though his body is never recovered, their mother can't stop searching.

As Cassandra grows older, she sees her brother everywhere: in cafes, aeroplane aisles, subway cars. But it can't be, of course. Or can it? And then one day, there's another accident, and she meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who shares her brother's name and who is also searching for someone...

'In Namwali Serpell's hands, grief is a kind of possession. The Furrows is a piercing, sharply written novel about the conjuring power of loss' - RAVEN LEILANI, author of Luster


  • Serpell is a terrific destabiliser, even at the level of the sentence... There are no tidy moral lessons at the end of her dissonant and time-contorting fable - no bones to bury, no truth to pin, no mysteries solved - only the inescapable rhythms of loss
    Beejay Silcox, The Guardian

About the author

Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell was born in Lusaka and lives in New York. She has received a 2020 Windham-Campbell Prize for fiction, the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing, and a 2011 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the Los Angeles Times' Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; it was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of the Year. Her nonfiction book, Stranger Faces, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her short story, 'Take It', was a finalist for the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award. She is a Professor of English at Harvard.

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