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Namwali Serpell on her genre-blending novel, 'The Furrows'

Namwali Serpell is the author of 'The Furrows'
Peg Skorpinski
courtesy photo
Namwali Serpell is the author of 'The Furrows'

Namwali Serpell has written a genre-blending book that explores grief. Cassandra Williams is twelve; her little brother, Wayne, is seven. One day, when they’re alone together, there is an accident and Wayne is lost forever. His body is never recovered. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt. Their father leaves, starts another family elsewhere. But their mother can’t give up hope and launches an organization dedicated to missing children.

Through experimental fiction, Serpell’s main character is able to relay in a clear and concise manner, not necessarily the events that occurred, but instead the emotion that emerged as a result of those events. I recently spoke with Namwali Serpell about The Furrows and all that went into it. Here’s our conversation.


The Furrows by Namwali Serpell was published by Hogarth Press.

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Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita.

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Beth Golay is KMUW's Director of Marketing and Digital Content. She is the host of the KMUW podcast Marginalia and co-host with Suzanne Perez of the Books & Whatnot podcast. You can find her on Wichita Transit in conversation with other riders for En Route, a monthly segment on KMUW's weekly news program The Range.