Zambian-American author Namwali Serpell is set to publish, not one, but two whole works of nonfiction. Titled On Morrison and I Am Dead, the books will be published by Hogarth Books in the US and Atlantic Books in the UK.
On Morrison is based on the Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and will be published in 2025. It is described by Publisher’s Marketplace as a “personal and politically charged examination of Toni Morrison’s genius through the author’s lens as an award-winning critic, professor, and Black fiction writer.”
The Bookseller calls the book “a glorious encounter between a reader and a writer” and the synopsis reads:
Taking in Morrison’s entire oeuvre, it is an exploration of her genius, an artist’s diary, threaded through with Namwali’s reflections on Morrison’s writing and her example, at a time when being a Black woman artist and thinker is still disavowed.
In a tweet, Serpell exclaims her excitement about the new publication, saying “Delighted about this! There’s no other mind I’d rather spend time with than Toni Morrison’s.”
Meanwhile, I Am Dead is a collection of 20 new and previously published essays, encompassing subjects such as Black aesthetics, gender, and style, and how cultural forms shape how we understand and perceive of ourselves. The Bookseller describes it as a “riotous, wide-ranging volume – full of energy, mischief and joyful intellect.”
Both books sound insightful and inspiring, and we love to see talented fiction authors like Serpell trying their hand at nonfiction. Stay tuned for more details!
Namwali Serpell is an American and Zambian writer who is a two-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and author of The Old Drift and The Furrows, one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2022 and featured on Barack Obama’s Favorite Books of the year.
In 2014, she was named on Hay Festival’s Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with the potential and talent to define trends in African literature. Her short story “The Sack” won the 2015 Caine Prize for African fiction in English. In 2020, Serpell won the Belles-lettres category Grand Prix of Literary Associations 2019 for her debut novel The Old Drift.
Congrats to Serpell on the two nonfiction books!