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Open Water
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
*A stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black British artists falling in and out of love - available for pre-order now* '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, passionately written, which brings London to life in a painterly, emotive way' 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
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TrishB
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

A moving story and message. The author undoubtedly has talent and it‘s another great debut to add to those I‘ve read recently.
I struggled occasionally with the 2nd person POV writing.

RaeLovesToRead I've previously stacked this, but I hate when books are written in the second person... 😬🤔 2w
TrishB @RaeLovesToRead the story is good, but that may put you off. 2w
114 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TrishB
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Today‘s #bookmail. Looking forward to these.

Cathythoughts Great Trish 👍💫 2w
LeahBergen Are you feeling better now? 🤞 2w
TrishB @LeahBergen I‘m loads better now thank you ♥️ 2w
LeahBergen Good to hear! ❤️❤️ 2w
82 likes4 comments
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charl08
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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You're in a memory of something yet to happen, when they stop you, like a moving vehicle edged off the road. They tell you there has been a spate of robberies in the area. They say many residents describe a man fitting your description. They ask where you are going and where you have come from. They say you appeared out of nowhere... They don't hear your protests. They don't hear your voice. They don't hear you. They don't see you.

tpixie Wow 😮 1mo
charl08 @tpixie yup, he doesn't pull his punches 😱 1mo
45 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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ReadingEnvy
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Reading Envy Podcast Episode 235: Nature of Humanity with Paula. @Centique

Paula is back for the last regular episode of the year and we talk about biography, books from the backlist, and books from countries we don't know much about.

Listen and subscribe:
https://tinyurl.com/ReadingEnvy235

ReadingEnvy With brief shout-out to @Reggie 1mo
Reggie I actually looked for Soviestan at my Barnes and Nobles cause their site said they had it after hearing that best of episode where your friend from the islands talked about it. But it wasn‘t there. And @Centique ❤️ Chronicles of Stone is on my schedule for January. Great show ladies! 1mo
ReadingEnvy Dang! Well it's in Hoopla if your library has it. 1mo
See All 6 Comments
Centique Thanks @Reggie 💕 Hope you like it! So much fun talking to you about books @ReadingEnvy 1mo
Billypar Just listened to this one - fantastic episode to end 2021! @Centique Paula, I had deja vu at one point because recently I was recommending this one to a friend and also could not remember the author or title offhand: 3w
Centique @Billypar I‘m glad I‘m not the only one! 😂😂😂 I‘ve forgotten it at least 3 times now. That‘s one book where the title doesn‘t link into the content - in my head at least. 3w
35 likes6 comments
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Smrloomis
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Finished this just now and loved it. Highly recommended!

58 likes3 stack adds
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Smrloomis
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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“Perhaps that is how we should frame this question forever; rather than asking what is your favorite work, let‘s ask, what continues to pull you back?” I love this sentiment even though I am not by nature a re-reader.

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Smrloomis
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Got off on the wrong stop on the metro because I was so engrossed in this… loving the style.

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ReadingEnvy
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Books Read October 2021: 215-236

Total Books Read: 22

audio: 3
eBook: 15
print: 4

Library: 4
TBR: 1
Purchased 2021: 3
Review copy: 14

Around the World: 10
Booker Prize Long or shortlist: 1
Europe 2021: 2
National Book Award finalist (long or short): 3
Read the World 21 (Western Europe): 1

Memoir: 2
Poetry: 2
Romance: 3
Sci-fi/fantasy: 3
Translated: 6
Women in Translation: 4

42 likes1 stack add
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ReadingEnvy
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Okay this is one of the best books I've read this year and I'm not sure why I haven't heard about it from more people. It's a relationship novel - not a romance - absorbed in the emotions and internal dialogue of intense connection. It's also about Blackness - specifically in London - and creating art. Loved it, and read it in #hoopla

charl08 Sold! 3mo
ReadingEnvy @charl08 it's so good! 3mo
Smrloomis I just started this and wonder how I completely missed it earlier. It‘s great so far! 2mo
ReadingEnvy @Smrloomis I felt the same way. 2mo
41 likes5 stack adds4 comments
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ThePageantHam
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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"'Lonely, no?'
Like Baldwin said, you begin to think you are alone in this, until you read. In this instance, two books are being spread open along the spine, despite the fact you don't remember some of these pages. She's looking at you and there is nowhere to hide here, nowhere to go. An honest meeting."

8 likes1 stack add
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Bookalong
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

5🌟 OPEN WATER is a gorgeous, intimate debut! At once, I was pulled in by the beautiful, intense poetic writing. Told in vignette style, this story is about a man and a woman, both Black and British, falling in and out of love. I was really drawn into these characters and their relationship. The raw honesty depicted by the author really makes you feel the pain and struggle of being a Black in society. A quick read, so emotional and vulnerable.

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BookishTrish
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

A love story, celebration of Black excellence, and insight into what it is like to be Black and in the world. Exceptional writing - hard to believe it‘s a debut novel.

55 likes1 stack add
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Anna40
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Reads like poetry. A bit slow at times but lovely. What an achievement, considering that this is a debut. Lots of references to music. I found myself reading and listening to songs or musicians mentioned in the book. Definitely recommend!

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AnneCecilie
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Our storyteller is introduced to a girl at a party. A book about being black and about falling in love with your best.

Our storyteller loves NW by Zadie Smith.

My #DoubleSpin for May @TheAromaofBooks
My 2nd book finished for #NutsInMay @Andrew65

Andrew65 Great 👏👏👏 8mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 8mo
68 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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AnneCecilie
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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There‘s a piece of art which comes to mind by Donald Rodney, titled In the House of My Father. […] You‘ve often had such an image, or something similar, where you are made aware that you carry the house of your father, which means you also carry a part of the house he carried, your father‘s father‘s, and that this man would‘ve done the same. Your first instinct is to ball your hand into a fist, crushing the thing,

bthegood 👍deep and interesting to think about, thx. 8mo
35 likes1 comment
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CindiB
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Gorgeous, gorgeous prose. A first novel-it‘s hard to fathom the skill. Young love, honesty, truth & the desire to be seen & heard for the right reasons, for the individuals we are regardless of skin colour. I loved this; it was incredibly powerful. Part of my Shakespeare & Co A Year of Reading spring selections, they hit it out of the ball park! Each book comes with a jacket blurb as to why it was chosen. So two reviews in one. 5/5.

46 likes1 stack add
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KayleighCreativeWorld
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

Both Open Water and Pray touched me in ways I can't explain, this book deserves an award.
Caleb Azumah Nelson writes pure poetry within his stories and everyone needs to read this! I think it should also be used as text for English Literature exams, there is so much content and context to break down and consider within this singluar piece!
(Also marked many beautiful passages, hence the sticky notes in the top)

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Vansa
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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#MotivationalMonday @Cupcake12
1.Present day London(tagged book),NY during Golden of Comics(Stan Lee),WWI trenches(at night all blood is black), Restoration era England(Mirror for monkeys),Chicago(Julie James)
2.Jasmine Guillory,NK Jemisin, Viet Than Nguyen
3.Doing a literature quiz for my quiz club!
Reviews of books here!https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55182748-stan-lee
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50403480-at-night-all-blood-is-black

9 likes1 stack add
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Texreader
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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candority
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Mehso-so

Open Water is a short novel about two Black artist falling in and out of love in London. While their relationship is key to the story, this is less a romance than it is a look at what it‘s like to be a young Black male in London. I think the second person POV worked well and enjoyed the way that the story is told through snapshots, but the style choices did keep me at a bit of a distance and made the timeline of the story hard to follow. 3⭐️

candority I debated on giving this a Pick, but I really don‘t think the story will last in my memory. Fantastic writing though and I‘m looking forward to seeing what Nelson does next. #NetGalley 10mo
96 likes1 comment
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HardcoverHearts
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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I‘m so delighted with my recent book mail from the UK - specifically these Black British books that were released recently. Bernadine Evaristo is working with Penguin to have these re-released. And my new blanket was the perfect background.

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Twocougs
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

It‘s been a long time since I‘ve experienced a novel that touch my heart in this way. Stunning, authentic and shattering. This is why we read, to see into someone‘s soul like this.

27 likes2 stack adds
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ephemeralwaltz
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

A short, hard-hitting debut about two people who fall slowly in love and then all at once, as often happens in the best of love stories. While the story revolves around two Black artists and their experiences in London/Dublin being seen merely as Black bodies, the author writes a love letter to Black art, media and thought. I can‘t say I enjoyed the writing 100% but it is an impressive debut to check out. Hoping to read more of the author!

readordierachel Sounds good. Stacked! 11mo
52 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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Abailliekaras
Open Water | Caleb Azumah Nelson
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Pickpick

A beautiful short novel. Delicate and intimate, it captures perfectly the ephemeral moments of first love. The writing is thoughtful but crisp, with great rhythm that propels you forward. I loved the honesty and naturalness of the two main characters. The fear and suppressed anger the narrator lives with every day as a black man in London adds depth and feels all too true. Loved the music references & sense of youth & vulnerability.

Anna40 Beautiful review. 11mo
CarolynM Great review. Stacked🙂 11mo
batsy Lovely review. And what a cover 🧡 11mo
43 likes2 stack adds4 comments