Derek Owusu

Teaching My Brother to Read
  • Teaching My Brother to Read

  • The first non-fiction title from the author of THAT REMINDS ME, Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2020

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    An extraordinary exploration of the power and meaning of books, as one brother teaches another about how reading can change your life.

    In 2019, Derek Owusu's younger brother was, as Derek said, getting into an increasing amount of trouble and rapidly losing interest in his own life. Ever since Derek picked up a D. H. Lawrence story, books have played a central role in Derek's life, and could, he believed, help his brother in his time of need. Each month, Derek decided, he would give his brother a book (fiction, non-fiction or poetry), and pay him £50 to read it. At the end of the month, they would meet and talk about the book - its content, what it said to them both, and what lessons (if any) it offered.

    Teaching My Brother to Read is the result: a groundbreaking work of non-fiction, and a unique celebration of the transformative power of literature from one of Britain's brightest literary stars.

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.


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