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Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi: A Girl is a Body of Water

In this episode of Badass Black Girl, MJ talks with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, the author of the coming of age novel A Girl is a Body of Water, about a 13 year-old girl who is searching for her birth mother and fears she may be a witch. The novel takes place in Uganda. They discuss her writing process, the importance of oral tradition, and how coded messages are an element of oral tradition. They also talk about family and large extended families, and what it means to be raised by a village. Jennifer is one of the presenting authors at the 2020 Miami Bookfair Online, and she talks about the upside of publishing a novel during a pandemic. She also talks about life under lockdown in Manchester, UK, where Jennifer lives.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize and her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani? Manuscript Project Prize in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her story “Let’s Tell This Story Properly” was the global winner of the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. A Girl is a Body of Water is her second novel. Jennifer lives in Manchester, UK with her husband and son.


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