Jennifer Makumbi, Coming of Age in Uganda

Jennifer Makumbi, Coming of Age in Uganda

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Folklore, Feminism and Fiction

We are delighted to welcome Jennifer Makumbi, winner of this year’s Jhalak Prize, in conversation about her novel The First Woman. An intoxicating mix of Ugandan folklore and modern feminism, it tells the story of Kirabo’s coming of age, weaving a young woman’s path to womanhood into the national tale of 1970s Uganda, encompassing magic, tradition, and a haunting legend. The First Woman was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award and the James Tait Black Prize, and named one of 2020’s books of the year by the Sunday Times, Observer, Daily Mail, BBC Culture, Waterstones, Oprah Magazine, and others.

Jennifer Makumbi lectures in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2020 she was selected as one of the 100 Most influential Africans by New African magazine.


“A novel bursting with resilience and warmth.” — The Sunday Times

Borderlines Book Festival has been developed through partnership working between public and private enterprise. The three partners are: Bookends of Carlisle; Cumbria County Council’s Library Service and Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery Trust.

Bookends Cumbria County Council's Library Service Tullie House

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