Upcoming Event

Namwali Serpell at Harvard Book Store

presenting

The Furrows:
A Novel

in conversation with TRACY K. SMITH

Date

Oct
4
Tuesday
October 4, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and professor of English at Harvard NAMWALI SERPELL for a discussion of her new novel, The Furrows. She will be joined in conversation by Pulitzer Prize winning author TRACY K. SMITH.

A Return to In-Person Events

Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:

  • Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.

About The Furrows

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.

As C grows older, she sees her brother everywhere: in bistros, airplane aisles, subway cars. Here is her brother’s face, the light in his eyes, the way he seems to recognize her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? Then one day, in another accident, C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who is also searching for someone and for his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.

Namwali Serpell’s remarkable new novel captures the uncanny experience of grief, the way the past breaks over the present like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a story of mistaken identity, double consciousness, and the wishful—and sometimes willful—longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.

Praise for The Furrows

“This book reads like a ghost story, a murder mystery, a thriller, a redemptive love story that never loses its knife edge of danger. . . A daring and masterful novel about how we respond to the mystery of death.” —Kiran Desai, Booker Prize–winning author of The Inheritance of Loss

“What seems at first a meditation on family trauma unfolds through the urgency of an amnesiac puzzle-thriller, then a violently compelling love story. The Furrows is a genuine tour de force.” —Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

“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, New York Times bestselling author of Luster

Namwali Serpell
Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell

Namwali Serpell was born in Lusaka, Zambia, and lives in New York. She received a 2020 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, 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, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the Los Angeles Times’s 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. She is currently a professor of English at Harvard.

Photo Credit: Peg Skorpinski

Tracy K. Smith
Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith is the author of three acclaimed books of poetry, including most recently Life on Mars, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Notable Book, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and a New Yorker, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, she lives in Princeton with her family.

Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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FAQ:

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