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February 2021 Book of the Month

Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

A stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black British artists falling in and out of love.

'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 peopleYaa Gyasi, 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.

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