One of our recommended books is Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

OPEN WATER


In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists—he a photographer, she a dancer—and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control.

Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body;

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In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists—he a photographer, she a dancer—and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control.

Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body; to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength; to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, and blistering emotional intelligence, Caleb Azumah Nelson gives a profoundly sensitive portrait of romantic love in all its feverish waves and comforting beauty.

This is one of the most essential debut novels of recent years, heralding the arrival of a stellar and prodigious young talent.

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  • Black Cat
  • Paperback
  • April 2021
  • 176 Pages
  • 9780802157942

Buy the Book

$16.00

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About Caleb Azumah Nelson

Caleb Azumah Nelson is a British-Ghanaian writer and photographer, living in South East London. His writing is forthcoming or has been published in the White Review and Litro. He was recently shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Award and the Palm Photo Prize and won the People’s Choice prize. Open Water is his first novel.

Praise

Open Water is tender poetry, a love song to Black art and thought, an exploration of intimacy and vulnerability between two young artists learning to be soft with each other in a world that hardens against Black people.”Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing

“A brilliant debut whose gentleness and joyfulness are as profound as its examination of the cost of living in a racist society.”Megha Majumdar

“Set to the rhythms of jazz and hip hop, Open Water is an unforgettable story about making art and making a home in another person. In language bursting with grief and joy, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the ode to Black creativity, love, and survival that we need right now.”Nadia Owusu

“An intense, elegant debut.”Guardian UK

“Achingly tender and intensely moving… A majestic debut.”Cosmopolitan UK

“A modern love story that pulls the reader close.”Esquire UK

“Sincere and contemplative.”Vulture