Small Worlds

Small Worlds

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 11/05/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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Small Worlds
I cannot get enough of Caleb Azumah Nelson
Caleb Azumah Nelson is one of my favourite writers. I read open water initially as an audiobook, so when it came to reading their second novel, i could he... READ MORE
Grace at Waterstones Belfast
Small Worlds
Five perfect stars
This is a beautiful book that follows the narrative of a young man through three summers of his life, as he navigates life, love and loss. A feeling of com... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield
Small Worlds
Exactly what I was hoping for — and more
Small Worlds is an extraordinary book. In the way that the words draw you into the scene. In the way that you are standing alongside the characters, unseei... READ MORE
Phill - Waterstones Bookseller
Small Worlds
If Jazz Were A Novel
If you loved Open Water, you will love this as there is more of Azumah Nelson's lyrical prose. This book is drenched in the love of music. Jazz is king her... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
Small Worlds
Modern Family Saga
loved his first book 'Open Water', but this has too many many music references that began to get in the way of the story. Stephen and Del could be characte... READ MORE
Neil Challis @Windsor
Small Worlds
A lyrical masterpiece that I won't ever forget
Small Worlds is a story about music and community, friendship and faith, about being a son. It’s a story about loving. Through vulnerability, a breathta... READ MORE
Yasmin
Small Worlds
Poetic, lyrical, emotional, and just absolutely beautiful
I finished reading small worlds a couple of months ago and I have not stopped thinking about it since! Caleb’s writing is unbelievably beautiful and he tac... READ MORE
Amoy Daley, Waterstones Leamington Spa

Synopsis

Set over the course of three summers, and moving between Peckham and Ghana, the poetic, rhythmic and exhilarating new novel from the author of Open Water is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores intergenerational trauma and the power of our passions.

Shortlisted for Foyles Book of the Year 2023

Synopsis

The one thing that can solve Stephen's problems is dancing. Dancing at Church, with his parents and brother, the shimmer of Black hands raised in praise; he might have lost his faith, but he does believe in rhythm. Dancing with his friends, somewhere in a basement with the drums about to drop, while the DJ spins garage cuts. Dancing with his band, making music which speaks not just to the hardships of their lives, but the joys too. Dancing with his best friend Adeline, two-stepping around the living room, crooning and grooving, so close their heads might touch. Dancing alone, at home, to his father's records, uncovering parts of a man he has never truly known. Stephen has only ever known himself in song. But what becomes of him when the music fades? When his father begins to speak of shame and sacrifice, when his home is no longer his own? How will he find space for himself: a place where he can feel beautiful, a place he might feel free? Set over the course of three summers in Stephen's life, from London to Ghana and back again, Small Worlds is an exhilarating and expansive novel about the worlds we build for ourselves, the worlds we live, dance and love within.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780241574348
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Weight: 320g
  • Dimensions: 202 x 138 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

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Small Worlds
Superb!!
Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy. Having previously been a massive fan of his first book - Open Water this book latest book was star... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
Small Worlds
Beautiful cover, even more beautiful book
My first Caleb Azumah Nelson book, and I'm blown away by the prose. Wow. I knew it would be good, but THIS GOOD? Every word is like a song, so if you can ... READ MORE
Milica S.
Small Worlds
Tender and heartfelt
Beautiful new novel from Caleb Azumah Nelson. Tender and heartfelt. Small worlds is an examination of the individual and the collective, trauma and joy, ... READ MORE
Jess D
Small Worlds
One of the best of 2023
This was so much more than I could have hoped for, I have fallen head over heels for it. The words have such rhythm, with the repetition of lines through... READ MORE
Siobhan  Graham
Small Worlds
Highly recommend!
I have been a huge fan of Nelson since reading Open Water last earlier this year. I knew before I read Small Worlds, it was going to be special. The book i... READ MORE
Nishtha  Misra
Small Worlds
First class
It is hard to find the words to review Small Worlds because Caleb Azumah Nelson uses them in ways that I can never. It’s another triumph. The writing is ... READ MORE
ruth busby
Small Worlds
I can't recommend this book enough.
I read Small Worlds shortly after reading Open Water (by the same author), so I was a little disappointed to see that Caleb Azumah Nelson's second book was... READ MORE
L Hey
Small Worlds
A gorgeous novel, poignant and tender
Small Worlds is a beautiful, eloquent exploration of love, loss and finding a place of safety for a person of colour in a white world. Beginning in 2010, t... READ MORE
Susan Osborne
Small Worlds
A perfect book
Simply spectacular. A tale of sons and fathers and music and food and love and laughter. This is a story about family and finding oneself. Recommended read... READ MORE
Anna-Maria Poku
Small Worlds
Beautiful lyrical book about music, identity, and family
The story is told from the perspective of a young adult called Stephen, and takes place over the three summers after he graduates from college. The writing... READ MORE
Amy Hunt
Small Worlds
Beautiful and rhythmic
I loved Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water so was very happy to receive an eARC of Small Worlds and it did not disappoint. It is beautifully written, poetic,... READ MORE
Rebecca Masterman
Small Worlds
An extraordinary book!
This is extraordinarily beautiful. I was welling up for most of the second half and only stopped myself so I was able to keep reading. This is somewhat s... READ MORE
Ellie Le Comber
Small Worlds
Wonderful, lyrical, vulnerable
Like Open Water, this book was raw and emotional in every word. It isn’t often that young black men are portrayed as emotional and vulnerable, and this is ... READ MORE
Madeleine Stormer
Small Worlds
Full of love and warmth
I adored this! It‘s so nice to see a different side to the young, black experience. Yes, there is prejudice, violence and racism always there in the bac... READ MORE
HelenT
Small Worlds
Another beautiful book by the author
This novella won the Costa Book Award recently, and I am not surpirsed! It’s important, unique and stylishly-written. Even though it is a short story, it... READ MORE
Mitsuko Green