Winner of the Costa First Novel Award, shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year, longlisted for the Desmond Elliot Prize and the Gordon Burn prize.
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 vunerable 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 unforgettable debut. . . it's Sally Rooney meets Michaela Coel meets Teju Cole' - The New York Times
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Date of Publication: 03/02/2022