Open Water
Caleb Azumah Nelson

Book cover image

Narrated By: Caleb Azumah Nelson

Duration: 4 hours and 41 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

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


Contemporary romance, Narrative theme: Coming of age, Narrative theme: Love and relationships, Narrative theme: Death, grief, loss, Narrative theme: Sense of place, Narrative theme: Social issues, Narrative theme: Politics, Mixed heritage / mixed race groups or people

Listen to a sample