Caleb Azumah Nelson
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From the publisher
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.
'The rhythms of Small Worlds are a feature of Azumah Nelson's quiet, particular ear and of a profound engagement with music. Nelson writes about closeness, with family, with lovers, with art, as careful, essential labour' RAVEN LEILANI, award-winning author of LUSTER
"In his beautiful new novel Nelson summons the sounds of Black Youth, love and discovery to the page. A celebration of the heart' NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH, author of CHAIN-GANG ALL-STARS and FRIDAY BLACK
'Caleb Azumah Nelson's writing is touching, heartfelt, and musically rich' DIANA EVANS
'SMALL WORLDS is a miracle of observation, of attention and attunement. Caleb Azumah Nelson writes prose that is unmatched in its musicality and sensitivity. A gorgeous, rhapsodic, wise novel.' KATIE KITAMURA, author of INTIMACIES
'A beautiful novel' YOMI SODE, author of MANORISM
Small Worlds grabs you by the heart and holds tightly, revealing a story as beautiful and as lyrical as the words that adorn the pages' SOFIA AKEL
***Praise for Open Water, winner of the Costa First Novel Award, Debut Novel of the Year British Book Award and a #1 Times bestseller***
'Hands-down the best debut I've read in years' The Times
'A beautiful and powerful novel about the true and sometimes painful depths of love' Candice Carty-Williams, bestselling author of QUEENIE and PEOPLE PERSON
'A short, poetic and intellectual meditation on art and a relationship between a young couple' Bernardine Evaristo, Booker prize-winning author of GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER
'A lyrical modern love story, brilliant on music and art, race and London life, I enjoyed it hugely' David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY and SWEET SORROW
'A stunning piece of art' Bolu Babalola, bestselling author of LOVE IN COLOUR