Hardback, 176 pages
‘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 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 British debut of recent years.
‘An amazing debut novel. You should read this book. Let’s hear it for Caleb Azumah Nelson, also known as the future’ Benjamin Zephaniah
‘A beautiful and powerful novel about the true and sometimes painful depths of love’ Candice Carty-Williams, bestselling author of QUEENIE
‘A very touching and heartfelt book’ Diana Evans, award-winning author of ORDINARY PEOPLE
‘Caleb is a star in the making’ Nikesh Shukla, editor of THE GOOD IMMIGRANT
‘A stunning piece of art’ Bolu Babalola, bestselling author of LOVE IN COLOUR’