• Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water
  • Open Water

Open Water

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 03/02/2022
RRP £9.99
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Bookseller Reviews

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Open Water
Caleb Azumah-Nelson is a wordsmith!
A man and woman meet in the basement of pub in South East London. He is a photographer. She is a dancer. He sees her from across the room. And knows she is... READ MORE
Open Water
One of the most beautiful books I've read in years
The prose in this book is astonishing. It is so beautifully written, if I'd noted down every passage that moved me or broke my heart, I would have never st... READ MORE
Open Water
Thought-provoking, poetic, introspective
One of the most beautiful and hearth wrenching new novels I've read in a long time. Written in a not often seen second person narrative, the story of a you... READ MORE
Tara Cross
Open Water
A phenomenal, soul striking debut
In short - this book took my breath away. It follows two Black artists who fall in love after meeting in London, but who are torn apart by violence, fe... READ MORE
Violet Daniels
Open Water
Beautiful and moving
A lyrical expression of a young man’s first true love complicated by being Black in London is way too simple a way of describing this beautifully written p... READ MORE
Big Bearded Bookseller
Open Water
A groundbreaking classic
So unique and original is the tone in which this novel is written, it will inspire future generations of writers. Its angles of love, lovers and friendship... READ MORE
Phill - Waterstones Bookseller
Open Water
One of the most beautiful books I've EVER read
This book is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful books I have ever read! Open Water follows two young black British people navigating their artistry (he... READ MORE
Léa at Brighton
Open Water
bursting with life and soul
The multi-sensory, immersive beauty of this book is flooring. I have never liked reading second-person narratives but this serves so well to place you in t... READ MORE
Benny Duverge-Pryce
Open Water
Astonishing and poetic debut novel
This short novel explores identity, love, and masculinity within its story of two young black Londoners. They are both artists from similar backgrounds, an... READ MORE
Rebecca at Tunbridge Wells
Open Water
A Masterpiece of a debut
If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would in a heartbeat. 'Open Water' covers the topics of modern masculinity, race, police brutality and ultimatel... READ MORE
Open Water
This is a simple story,Boy meets Girl and they have an instant attraction knowing that they will spend a lifetime loving each other. But she is with his fr... READ MORE
Neil Challis @Windsor
Open Water
such a beautiful novel
This book will discuss the flimsy inadequacy of language, and then proceed to say something insanely beautiful and poetic.& truly, I’m not exaggerating, th... READ MORE
Myah Rose
Open Water
Immersive, vulnerable, and poetic
Open Water is complicated, raw, and deeply moving. What stood out most to me was the way in which Nelson weaved words into experiences, and the strength of... READ MORE
Elizabeth (Llandudno)
Open Water
A stunning and intimate romance that understands what it means to be seen.
I have had Nelson’s novel in my TBR list since it’s publication. I am so glad I finally picked it up. The prose was gorgeous and layered, there was so ... READ MORE
Phoebe Bowers


Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2021 Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for February 2022 Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2022. Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2021 Winner of The British Book Awards 2022 Debut Book of the Year Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2021 A stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black British artists falling in and out of love. 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.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780241448786
  • Number of pages: 160
  • Weight: 152g
  • Dimensions: 197 x 128 x 13 mm

Customer Reviews

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Open Water
. Affecting & transcending . Open Water, is a gem..
. .Open Water, is a novel of only two hundred pages. Yet it contains an immensity of emotion. The love story of two black people. But the story is comple... READ MORE
david norman
Open Water
An Important Novel
'Open Water' by Caleb Azumah Nelson (Penguin, 2022) is a lyrical and poetic story about a young black man who meets a young black woman and the difficultie... READ MORE
Laura Besley
Open Water
This is not my kind of book. I prefer action, plot, drama. Not so much of that here but somehow the beautiful evocative writing won me over. The changing m... READ MORE
Louise Phillips
Open Water
The book itself is less than 150 pages, but i struggled to get through half. Came to my attention through BookTok. Was not for me despite the hundreds ... READ MORE
Jessica Sale
Open Water
A good debut novella
There are areas of this book which are spectacularly written, but then there are areas where I felt it fell flat and bland. A wonderful effort from the... READ MORE
Jess Savory
Open Water
I am swooned, I am moved, I am sad, I am happy, I am emotional, I basically felt everything listening to this book. Open Water is written in a second pe... READ MORE
Ana Bastos