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Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi: Kintu / Let's Tell This Story Properly

In Conversation with Alicia Adams

This event is in partnership with the Cheuse International Writers Center.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi published her award-winning debut novel Kintu to wide acclaim, and returns with Let’s Tell This Story Properly, a collection of stories of race, class, and the Ugandan immigrant experience in Britain.

About Kintu:

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"A soaring and sublime epic. One of those great stories that was just waiting to be told."—Marlon James, Man Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2017

Winner of the Windham-Campbell Prize

Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

First published in Kenya in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim, Kintu is a modern classic, a multilayered narrative that reimagines the history of Uganda through the cursed bloodline of the Kintu clan. Divided into six sections, the novel begins in 1750, when Kintu Kidda sets out for the capital to pledge allegiance to the new leader of the Buganda Kingdom. Along the way, he unleashes a curse that will plague his family for generations. In an ambitious tale of a clan and a nation, Makumbi weaves together the stories of Kintu’s descendants as they seek to break from the burden of their shared past and reconcile the inheritance of tradition and the modern world that is their future.

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About Let’s Tell This Story Properly:

How far does one have to travel to find home elsewhere? The stories in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s collection attempt to measure that distance. Centered around the lives of Ugandans in Britain, Let's Tell This Story Properly features characters both hyper-visible and unseen—they take on jobs at airport security, care for the elderly, and work in hospitals, while remaining excluded from white, British life. As they try to find their place, they drift from a home that feels further and further away. In an ambitious collection by the critically acclaimed author of KintuLet's Tell This Story Properly explores what happens to those who leave.

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, a Ugandan novelist and short story writer, won the 2018 Windham-Campbell Prize for her debut novel, Kintu. Her story "Let's Tell This Story Properly" won the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Jennifer lives in Manchester, UK, with her husband, Damian, and her son, Jordan.

Alicia B. Adams is the Vice President of International Programming and Dance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  She joined the Kennedy Center in 1992 and has curated the Center’s major international festivals, as well as the Center’s Contemporary Dance series. She has worked in the field of arts management for arts institutions including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Belafonte Enterprises, Inc., City Center, Harlem School of the Arts and International Production Associates. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Williamstown Theater Festival, Founding Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing (UK), Africa 95 Trustee (UK), and served in advisory roles for The Laurel Fund, the All Roads Project of National Geographic, ISPA, APAP, and the National Dance Panel of the New England Foundation on the Arts. Adams has an MA from Columbia University, a BS from New York University and a certificate in arts administration from Harvard University’s School of Business Administration.

600 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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