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A punchy, poetic, soulfully impactful social realist account of a boy’s journey through the care system to adulthood.
Beginning with an address to Anansi, the trickster story teller god of African folklore, (“Anansi, your four gifts raised to nyame granted you no power over the stories I tell”), Derek Owusu’s That Reminds Me is a one-of-a-kind reading experience. K’s story will break your heart, and heal it. And Owusu’s writing will leave you stunned - it’s that unique, that honest, that impactful.
K is a working-class boy born to Ghanaian parents in Tottenham. Fostered as a child, he’s relocated to an unfamiliar rural environment, where there are woods and fields instead of flats and video shops. When he returns to London at the age of eleven, the city has become alien to him - and his birth parents have too. Once again K must re-find himself. Piece himself together, and perhaps find friendship and love along with his identity.
Told through K’s fragmented memories, this is an exceptional coming-of-age story that lingers long in the soul.
WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE 2020
Anansi, your four gifts raised to nyame granted you no power over the stories I tell...
This is the story of K.
K is sent into care before a year marks his birth. He grows up in fields and woods, and he is happy, he thinks. When K is eleven, the city reclaims him. He returns to an unknown mother and a part-time father, trading the fields for flats and a community that is alien to him. Slowly, he finds friends. Eventually, he finds love. He learns how to navigate the city. But as he grows, he begins to realise that he needs more than the city can provide. He is a man made of pieces. Pieces that are slowly breaking apart.
That Reminds Me is the story of one young man, from birth to adulthood, told in fragments of memory. It explores questions of identity, belonging, addiction, sexuality, violence, family and religion. It is a deeply moving and completely original work of literature from one of the brightest British writers of today.
|Publication date:||12th November 2020|
|Publisher:||Merky Books an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Collections:||50 Books for Every Dad this Father's Day,|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu reads like an open wound. The prose runs like a pulse, builds like the beat of some lowercase drum. Honest and beautiful. Derek Owusu's writing is honest, moving, delicate, but tough. Once you lock on to his words, it is hard to break eye contact. A beautiful meditation on childhood, coming of age, the now, and the media. This work is heartfelt. I hate Derek Owusu for the same reasons I love him: he is the sort of writer who makes me and other writers have doubts about whether we belong in this art. He is one of a kind. Truly a precious stone of a poet. His words evoke flawless empathy and leave me with either a strained face from smiling or a wet page from crying. I consider myself enlightened, lucky, intimidated and gripped when I read his words. -- Nelson Abbey
These are words that come from the heart, the lived life and owned observations. Powerful and moving. Social realism at its best. -- Alex Wheatle
When writing is this honest, it soars. I think that this is why the words in this collection fly around you and settle, as they have. What an incredible use of language and truth. Hope this reaches all the mandem. We need more. -- Yrsa Daley-Ward
'A singular achievement.' --Michael Donkor, Guardian
'Heartbreaking, important and original.' --Christie Watson, author of THE LANGUAGE OF KINDNESS
'Derek Owusu's writing is honest, moving, delicate, but tough. Once you lock on to his words, it is hard to break eye contact. A beautiful meditation on childhood, coming of age, the now, and the media. This work is heartfelt.' -- Benjamin Zephaniah
'Honest and beautiful.' -- Guy Gunaratne, author of IN OUR MAD AND FURIOUS CITY
Derek Owusu is a writer, poet and podcaster from north London. He discovered his passion for literature at the age of twenty-three while studying exercise science at university. Unable to afford a change of degree, Derek began reading voraciously and sneaking into English Literature lectures at the University of Manchester. Derek edited and contributed to Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space. That Reminds Me, his first solo work, won the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020.More About Derek Owusu