Introducing Derek Owusu, the first novelist on Stormzy’s Books

The author discusses his debut novel That Reminds Me, a searing exploration of childhood, identity, race, and mental health

Does our childhood inextricably shape the person we are today? It’s this question that sits as the crux of writer and poet’s Derek Owusu’s debut That Reminds Me, the first novel out on Stormzy’s publishing imprint, #Merky Books.

The book follows a young Ghanaian boy, known only as K, who is sent away from London to be adopted by white foster parents in Suffolk, only to return to the city at seven to parents he no longer recognises. Spanning themes of identity, family, and belonging, Owusu chronicles a true-to-life phenomenon known as farming, where West African families paid white families in the 1960s to temporarily foster their children privately outside of local authorities while they worked and studied. It’s something Owusu himself experienced first-hand, but stresses that the story isn’t autobiographical.

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