"Locascio's story of a young American abroad is unflinching in its portrayal of sex, desire, racism, and the excitement and confusion of youth. Infused with erotics and politics, this is a novel that will haunt you."--Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer
Roxana Olsen has always dreamed of going to Paris, and after high school graduation finally plans to travel there on a study abroad program--a welcome reprieve from the bruising fallout of her parents' divorce. But a logistical mix-up brings Roxana to Copenhagen instead, where she's picked up at the airport by Soren, a twenty-eight year old guide who is meant to be her steward. Instantly drawn to one another, Roxana and Soren's relationship turns romantic, and when he asks Roxana to accompany him to a small town in the north of Denmark for the rest of the summer, she doesn't hesitate to accept. There, Roxana's world narrows and opens as she experiences fantasy, ritual, and the pleasures of her body, a thrilling realm of erotic and domestic bliss. But as their relationship deepens, Soren's temperament darkens, and Roxana finds herself increasingly drawn to a mysterious local outsider whom she learns is a refugee from the Balkan War.
An erotic coming-of-age like no other, from a magnetic new voice in fiction, Open Me is a daringly original and darkly compelling portrait of a young woman discovering her power, her sex, and her voice; and an incisive examination of xenophobia, migration, and what it means to belong.
Roxana Olsen was supposed to be spending the summer wandering the streets of Paris with her best friend. Instead, she ended up in Copenhagen – alone.
Her first taste of real freedom is blinding and she finds herself inexplicably attracted to her intense and much older Danish host.
But the more time that she spends with the mysterious Søren, the more she catches a glimpse at the darkness that lies behind his glacial eyes.
“I’m scared that love isn’t real.”
Set on a path of discovery – both of herself and of the world around her – Roxana finds an unlikely friend in the village outcast.
Zlatan is the man that teaches her about war, about discrimination and about heartbreak. And it is the lesson that changes her life forever.
“I have to tell you—” I almost said it then, the sound already on my tongue.
Open Me is a brutally honest look at what it’s really like to come of age in the modern world. Lisa’s hard-hitting and poignant prose lays bare such vast injustices like sexism and immigration. It’s graphic, it’s unsettling and incredibly beautiful.
This book will open your mind and make you realize that we aren’t so different from each other after all…
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