Losing the Plot
DEREK OWUSU NAMED GRANTA’S BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS 2023
LONGLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE 2023
LONGLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE – FICTION 2023
LONGLISTED FOR THE DIVERSE BOOK AWARDS 2023
‘A highly enigmatic, affectionate and robustly written portrayal of a mother-son relationship . . . very relatable’ Diana Evans
Driven by a deep-seated desire to understand his mother’s life before he was born, Derek Owusu offers a powerful imagining of her journey. As she moves from Ghana to the UK and navigates parenthood in a strange and often lonely environment, the effects of her displacement are felt across generations.
Told through the eyes of both mother and son, Losing the Plot is at once emotionally raw and playful as Owusu experiments with form to piece together the immigrant experience and explore how the stories we share and tell ourselves are just as vital as the ones we don’t.
Masterful . . . This novel is a reflection of a son attempting to embrace the entirety of his mother - all her vulnerability, spikiness and unknowability. And Owusu does so with extraordinary compassion -- MICHAEL DONKOR * * i * * A love letter - sometimes dense, often moving - written by a son to his mother * * Guardian * * A highly enigmatic, affectionate and robustly written portrayal of a mother-son relationship . . . very relatable -- DIANA EVANS Owusu is one of the most original writers today -- STEFAN TOBLER Owusu's prose is fragmentary and lucid . . . Losing the Plot is a masterclass in distilled writing and a stirring ode to motherhood * * Irish Times * * A densely poetic act of resistance * * Times Literary Supplement * * Losing the Plot is a timeless piece, crafted and written with immense emotion and exquisite detail. If you want to enter the lived experiences of our seniors, journey through their joys and pains, then this is the book for you * * Bad Form * * Owusu reimagines his mother's journey to the UK in order to process generational trauma and find peace in empathy. Owusu's writing is bold, wise, and generous; he amplifies and validates the complexities of inter-generational love * * British Blacklist * * Owusu's intricate layering of form and language (in all its meanings), and the blur of the author and his mother's life with that of their fictional counterparts, reflects the complexity of identity and memory in the most unique of ways . . . Losing the Plot will forever linger in your mind * * Arts Desk * * A biting glimpse of the immigrant experience relayed in a distinctive Ghanaian-British voice * * Financial Times * *
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