interview With Caleb Azumah Nelson


Kayla. Thanks so much for joining me. I know that you have huge demands on your time because your book has just exploded. Hasn't it yeah. I've been kind of astounded by iolanthe disapora in jeopardy seeing everywhere. I think it's you know. I was a little bit worried about coming out in the lockdown and it just i haven't had to have that worry at the moment it just feels like the supposed be really overwhelming and really. I'm really grateful now. I introduced you as a photographer and writer d. You now think that that's switched. Are you a writer. Perhaps with the bisa photography feel like. I've always been a writer. I and i think photography is has been another medium in which i can communicate and express like i've been writing since i can remember likelihood you're like four or five years old scribbler. Like really terrible. Shoot stories have l-. I think the the medium of photography really allows a visual element to come into my work and very much comes through in this book open water. There's a lot about you feel the sort of the poetry the visual the creativity. I mean those are major themes aren't they about about creativity. I think the the the starting point or for any saw them. Artistic expression is feeling and emotion. And then it's working is working from that once have the feeding emotion. I'm trying to express define the best medium for in this case. It was writing but the but the writing contained these elements. Are these references to music can to to visual artists than film which took the narrative elsewhere afforded a different dimension. I i. I would have been possible if i just like kind of ryan straight pros and of course if the two characters one is a dancer. One is a photographer like you. That will so you to kind of explore all of those teams much more than living it. Yeah there's i guess there's a I guess everyone has their that. Point is expression even if is like a professional level epic. Everyone is has something that they do to express themselves in. It was important for me to to have the these law autistic expressions index the title itself. Open water for me. It feels like you're talking about freedom there but you will set talking about the dangers that can lurk in a water. Yeah it some there. Was this idea of justice. Like real ruled in almost infinite freedom. You know when you you'll standing on a beach yukon see where who had the see and like the that kind of idea but not knowing what does look like what. Dangers are present in our in our every day. I think it was important for me to have these Protagonists to have. Like the kind of fullness wholeness like range in which they good light just be in. Just have this freedom by. I wanted to comment on what happens when you find that. Freedom interrupted without giving any of the plus away at this point. Yeah a lot of this is told through dialogue. Which i know is fiendishly difficult to achieve and then at one point you sort of depart from the traditional writing style the whole kind of you say she says tell me about that. Change of structure the About giving too much away the bat point in the story. The narrative has been a bill and bill bill and then reached this kind of the apex this peak in which the image i had to switch the structure slightly so that it was hughley the protagonist kind of like spilling in a way like it was. It's like feeling a competent. And the woods at that point had just spilled over and that's what began to emerge and not not lots of the narrative using the this second person who almost away fruit was really important for me to create this kind of very intimate as very intimate narrative in which the reader can beat by the burford. An audience member nossa the protagonists themselves at an. Did you write it like that from the start or were you fiddling about with with that structure. That was really attention from the beginning. I think i'm always wondering a novel could be like. I'm always astounded by different nobles. Come across the us. Full more structured as a narrative device that this would only serve to push an artist the book has described as absolutely nailing the black experience the london black experience when you were growing up with their books for you that spoke to that or are we only now. Seeing the emergence of of works that will speak to the next generation. Yeah i think when i was when i was growing up his voracious reader like i would just read anything i can get my hands on but there were specific which was speaking to that black british experience. Like our say. The mallory blackman might really An kind of like primary and early teen years and then later on as eighty smith but it was a real struggle to to kind of find tips. The the like i instantly recognized i could. I could understand kind of relate to to various fictional works especially from the over. The pond said like james baldwin and tony morrison writes slide. Those are really integral to save my reading and writing growing up the yet only the kind of feels like now. There's a slight pushing the direction in which the narratives that haven't been beginning to be by fitness way to

Coming up next