Namwali Serpell (Zambia) 

The sack in Africa39 (Bloomsbury, London, 2014)

Namwali Serpell was born in Zambia in 1980. Her first published story, “Muzungu,” was selected for the Best American Short Stories 2009 and shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize for African Writing. She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award in 2011. In 2014, she was selected as one of the most promising African writers for the Africa 39 Anthology, a project of the Hay festival. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, n+1, McSweeney’s (forthcoming), Bidoun, Callaloo, The San Francisco Chronicle, The L.A. Review of Books, and The Guardian. She is an associate professor in the University of California, Berkeley English department; her first book of literary criticism, Seven Modes of Uncertainty, was published in 2014.

What it's about: The power struggle between two men, one very ill, and the woman who came between them.

Read it for...being “formally innovative, stylistically stunning, haunting and enigmatic in its effects”, and an “extraordinary story about the aftermath of revolution with its liberatory promises shattered” as described by Chair of Judges Zoe Wicomb.