Namwali Serpell

associate professor of English

Namwali Serpell was born in Zambia in 1980. She lives in San Francisco. Her first novel, The Old Drift, is forthcoming with Hogarth Press (Penguin Random House) in 2018. Serpell won the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing for her story, "The Sack." 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. Serpell's first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2009, shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize, and anthologized in The Uncanny Reader. You can read her writing in the The New Yorker, Tin House, Triple Canopy, The Believer, n+1, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Bidoun, Enkare Review, Cabinet, The San Francisco Chronicle, The L.A. Review of Books, Public Books, and the Guardian. Serpell is an associate professor of English at UC Berkeley. Her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press.