Two of England’s most celebrated debutants of 2021 come together to discuss their innovative fiction about modern Britain.
Natasha Brown’s novel Assembly tells the story of a young Black woman in England with all the trappings of apparent success, including a job in the City. But the contradictions of her life and her unwillingness to accept the structures that sustain the society we all operate in, lead her to a cataclysmic decision. Assembly has been greeted with universal acclaim, including by Bernardine Evaristo, and has been compared to the work of Virginia Woolf and Claudia Rankine. Natasha Brown worked in financial services for ten years before writing Assembly.
Caleb Azumah Nelson’s Open Water is a love story between two Black British artists – a photographer and a dancer – which blends personal and political with elegance and insight. Poetic but restrained, it takes us into its characters’ lives with subtlety and grace, and explores the meaning of art in our lives today and the risks taken to swim into the open water of love. On publication Open Water was compared with the work of Sally Rooney and Michaela Coel, and called “the kind of novel that doesn’t let go” by Jan Carson. Caleb Azumah Nelson is a writer and photographer living in London.
Hosted by Shannon Yee.
This event is subject to 1m social distancing guidelines.