The Furrows

Namwali Serpell

The Furrows
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The Furrows

Namwali Serpell

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 Williams is twelve; her little brother Wayne is seven. One day, when they are alone together, there is an accident, and Wayne is lost forever. Though his body is never recovered, their mother is unable to stop searching. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt- How do you grieve an absence? And how does it feel? As C grows older, she relives and retells her story, and she sees her brother everywhere- in coffee shops, subway cars, cities on both sides of America. Here is her brother’s older face, the colour of his eyes, his lanky limbs, the way he seems to recognise her too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? And then one day, there is another accident, and C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who is also searching for someone, as well as his own place in the world. His name is Wayne. Namwali Serpell’s piercing new novel captures the ongoing and uncanny experience of grief, as the past breaks over the present, like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold and beautiful exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a masterful story of mistaken identity, slippery reality, black experience, and the wishful and sometimes willful longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.

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