I’ve just finished reading Teju Cole’s novel Every Day is for the Thief, which was originally published in Nigeria in 2007 but has been republished by Random House in the wake of his second novel Open City’s tremendous success. Cole, born in the US and raised in Nigeria, writes in this short autobiographical work of returning on visits to Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. Over the course of the book, Cole’s flaneur-like wanderings touch upon: the state of jazz record and book shops, public transportation, internet scamming, reencountering a first love, power failures, malaria, crime and corruption, religion, and the attempt to read the cultural signs of a country he is both geographically and temporally separated from, but nonetheless closely identifies with. Interspersed throughout the novel are photographs taken by the author. I missed Cole’s visit to New Zealand a couple of years back, but read Open City around that time, which I’m keen to reread. Cole is an active presence on Twitter also and has been offering energetic, aphoristic dispatches on the World Cup lately. For more you can check out Cole’s website and a recent interview from the Guardian.
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