The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell

Old Drift cover

a nutshell: this 576-page tome follows three Zambian families as their fates entwine over the course of the 20th century into the present day

a line“it was a version of family better than most”

an image: true or not, I enjoyed (and, in fact, retold) Agnes’ beloved anecdote about why tennis players call 0 “love” – a hand-me-down from l’oeuf, the French for egg, since a zero is shaped like an egg

a thought: this epic narrative manages to convey many eternal truths in such a simple way, like the description of history as, in short, the annals of the bully on the playground

a fact: the Old Drift was a colonial settlement on the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, where the novel opens

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