A Girl Is a Body of Water



"Makumbi's prose is irresistible and poignant, with remarkable wit, heart and charm--poetic and nuanced, brilliant and sly, openhearted and cunning, balancing discordant truths in wise ruminations. A Girl Is a Body of Water rewards the reader with one of the most outstanding heroines and the incredible honor of journeying by her side." --The New York Times

"A mesmerizing feminist epic." --O, the Oprah Magazine

International award-winning author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's novel is a sweeping and powerful portrait of a young girl and her family: who they are, what history has taken from them, and--most importantly--how they find their way back to each other.

Product Details

$27.95  $25.71
Tin House Books
Publish Date
September 01, 2020
5.7 X 8.8 X 1.7 inches | 1.6 pounds
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About the Author

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize and her first novel, Kintu, won the Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 and was longlisted for the Etisalat Prize in 2014. Her story "Let's Tell This Story Properly" won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Jennifer lives in Manchester, UK with her husband and son.


A wonder--as clear, vivid, moving, powerful, and captivatingly unpredictable as water itself.--Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
With each new work, Makumbi cements her position as a writer of great influence in our time and for future generations.
In her characteristically page-turning and engaging style, Makumbi lays bare the complex power dynamics of patriarchy, capitalism and neocolonialism, not through academic jargon but via that most effective tool of education--storytelling. An achingly beautiful tale.--Sylvia Tamale
Ugandan literature can boast of an international superstar in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi.
Makumbi writes with the assurance and wry omniscience of an easygoing deity.
A magnificent blend of Ugandan folklore and more modern notions of feminism. . . . This book is a jewel.
Superb. An intoxicating tale that combines mythic and modern elements to make the headiest of feminist brews.--Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch
This beautifully rendered saga is a riveting deconstruction of social perceptions of women's abilities and roles.
A Girl is a Body of Water is captivating, wise, humorous and tender: Makumbi has come back stronger than ever. This is a tale about Kirabo and her family, and her place in the world as she searches for her mother and a true sense of belonging. But most of all, this is a book about the stories that define us, and those we tell to redefine ourselves. A riveting read.--Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King