The LARB Book Club – Fall 2022

October 27, 2022 5:00 pm — October 27, 2022 6:00 pm

The LARB Book Club – Fall 2022

The LARB Book Club featuring The Furrows by Namwali Serpell

Thursday, October 27, at 5 PM PST, via Zoom

LARB Members, Register Here

All members are invited to join us and purchase a copy of The Furrows at Skylight for 15% off or take advantage of the 10% discount at bookstores near you.* Visit the Reckless Reader page to see if your local store is a participating member. 

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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’re alone together, there is an accident and Wayne is lost forever. His body is never recovered. The missing boy cleaves the family with doubt. Their father leaves, starts another family elsewhere. But their mother can’t give up hope and launches an organization dedicated to missing children.

As C grows older, she sees her brother everywhere: in bistros, airplane aisle s, subways cars. Here is her brother’s older face, the light in his eyes, the way he seems to recognize her, too. But it can’t be, of course. Or can it? Then one day, in another accident, C meets a man both mysterious and familiar, a man who is also searching for someone, and for his own place in the world. His name is Wayne.

Namwali Serpell’s remarkable new novel captures the uncanny experience of grief, the way the past breaks over the present like waves in the sea. The Furrows is a bold exploration of memory and mourning that twists unexpectedly into a story of mistaken identity, double consciousness, and the wishful — and sometimes willful — longing for reunion with those we’ve lost.


Namwali Serpell was born in Lusaka and lives in New York. Her debut novel, The Old Drift, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction, and the Los Angeles Times’ Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; it was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time’s 100 Must-Read Books of the Year. Her nonfiction book, Stranger Faces, was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. She is currently professor of English at Harvard. Image credit: Peg Skorpinski