Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor


Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Kenya. She is the author of Weight of Whispers and Dust, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing (2003), she has twice received an Iowa International Writers Fellowship and was shortlisted for the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices award. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Granta’s ‘The Politics of Feeling’ and other publications, and she has twice been a TEDx speaker (Nairobi and Euston). She has been a resident and fellow in several places including the Lannan Foundation, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Civitella Ranieri, Dorothea Schlegel and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies. She spends most of her time in Nairobi, Kenya.



The Dragonfly Sea transported me at a time I really wanted to be transported. Lyrical, compassionate, and deeply original, it has stayed with me, and is the novel I have most enjoyed this year.

Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland

Moving, epic and transcendent, The Dragonfly Sea is a glorious tale that spans two continents, multiple cultures and the lives of endearing characters. Kenya’s most exciting writer, Yvonne Adiambo Owuor, dazzles with her stunning poetic prose …  If you are looking for a book to get completely lost in lyrical prose, a grand voyage across the world and the lives of wonderfully complex characters then The Dragonfly Sea is one to pick up.’

Bad Form

One of the most unforgettable books I have read in the last few years … What a writer! What a thinker! What a woman!’

Fiammetta Rocco

‘A daring and compelling novel, evocative and lavishly detailed.’

Abdulrazak Gurnah, author of Afterlives

‘One of Africa’s most exciting voices … The Dragonfly Sea is a continent-hopping novel of epic proportions.


‘This lushly written epic of contemporary cultural clashes and world politics is as magically enveloping as a fairy tale.’ 


‘Owuor writes in heart-stopping bursts of imagery and retooled language . . . gloriously unique.’