Teju Cole is a writer, art historian, street photographer, Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.
He was born in the US (1975) to Nigerian parents, raised in Nigeria and now lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of two books, a novella, Every Day is for the Thief, and a novel, Open City.
- Contributor to New York Times, New Yorker, Qarrtsiluni, the Atlantic, Granta, Aperture, Transition, A Public Space, New Inquiry
- Currently at work on a book-length non-fiction narrative of Lagos, and on a Twitter project called #smallfates. Which has received a lot of attention
- Avid street photographer
Every Day is for the Thief (Cassava Republic, 2007)
A novella with photographs. It is the story of a young Nigerian, who returns to his hometown after many years in the diaspora. Cole focuses on his hero’s quest for an identity, and in doing so paints a picture of the transformation the country is currently undergoing.
Open City (Random House, 2012)
Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.
Working on third book, a non-fictional narrative of contemporary Lagos. The biggest city in Africa is the fastest growing metropolis of the world, and for Cole one of the »most complex, exiting and interesting« places that exist. The literary documentation is based on the author’s own experiences and conversations with the citizens. Cole turns findings from his urban investigation also into miniature stories, which are no longer than a twitter tweet.
Exhibition of his photographs in Goa in December 2012, and one in April in New York 2013.
A selection of photos (always being updated) can be seen on Flickr. As part of his photographic practice, he has a running commentary on photography, poetry, and life on Twitter.
Open City: PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature.
More of Teju Cole
TEJU Cole on twitter: @tejucole