The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell
Although The Old Drift is sprinkled with retellings of
Zambia’s history, it is not only a historical fiction book. The
book is astonishing and exciting in this manner as it combines genres from historical to science fiction, magical realism and Afrofuturism plunging the reader into Zambia and beyond.
The book has often been referred to as the ‘Great Zambian Novel’ as it explore the diversity of the Zambian population in more aspects than just race.
Drawing from both events that are known to have happened
such as the building of the Zambezi dam and the ambitious
aspirations of Edward Makuka Nkoloso in his building of an
Afronauts training center; and from her imagination in, for
example, the creation of a micro-drones that have a hive mind, Serpell writes many stories in one, fashioning this almost six hundred paged project.
The book ends in the near future where Serpell shows politics and technology coming together in a disturbingly realistic form that many of us, Zambian or not, can relate to.