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A stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black artists falling in and out of love - available for pre-order now
Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. 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 - trying to make their mark in a city 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.
At once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water 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, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential debut of recent years.
'Caleb Azumah Nelson's 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, bestselling author of HOMEGOING
'A beautiful and powerful novel about the true and sometimes painful depths of love' Candice Carty-Williams, Sunday Times bestselling author of QUEENIE
'An amazing debut novel. You should read this book. Let's hear it for Caleb Azumah Nelson, also known as the future' Benjamin Zephaniah
© Caleb Azumah Nelson 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
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For the author of Open Water, love is a lesson handed down by family – and then discovered on his own terms.