Blind Spot

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In this innovative synthesis of words and images, the award-winning author of Open City and photography critic for The New York Times Magazine combines two of his great passions.

One of Time’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of the Year • One of Smithsonian.com’s Ten Best Photography Books of the Year

When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: He’s an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City.

Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes and interiors, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which “the photography changed. . . . The looking changed.”

As exquisitely wrought as the work of Anne Carson or Chris Marker, Blind Spot is a testament to the art of seeing by one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary literature.

Praise for Blind Spot

“Common things [are] made radiant by the quality of Cole’s looking. . . . In this new, luminous book, Cole shows himself to be really one of the best at seeing.”The Guardian

“This lyrical essay in photographs paired with texts explores the mysteries of the ordinary.”The New York Times Books Review (Editors’ Choice)

“Stunning . . . feels like the fulfillment of an intellectual project that has defined most of [Cole’s] career.”Slate

“Dazzling . . . cerebral yet intimate . . . combines personal essay, history, biography, journalism, and photography into a seamless package, capturing human dignity and grace through careful, clear-eyed reverence.”Vice

“An eclectically brilliant distillation of what photography can do, and why it remains an important art form.”San Francisco Chronicle
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About the author

Teju Cole is the photography critic for The New York Times Magazine. His work has been exhibited in India, Iceland, and the United States, and was the subject of a solo exhibition in Italy in 2016. He is the author of the essay collection, Known and Strange Things, as well as the novels Every Day Is for the Thief and Open City, the latter of which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the New York City Book Award, and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His photography column at The New York Times Magazine was a finalist for a 2016 National Magazine Award, and he is the winner of the 2016 Focus Award for excellence in photographic writing.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jun 13, 2017
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780399591082
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Essays
Photography / Individual Photographers / Artists' Books
Travel / Special Interest / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"This book takes you on a photographic voyage through my life so far." –Keegan Allen
Keegan Allen is currently known to fans of the ABC Family hit television series, Pretty Little Liars. He has also appeared in numerous independent films and made his New York Stage debut in the acclaimed MCC production of Small Engine Repair.
Keegan was given his first camera at age nine, and began a lifelong study and pursuit of photography. life.love.beauty is a selection of photographs taken since his childhood. It's a photo journey through the life of an intensely creative soul whose expression finds various forms: in acting, in poems and stories, lyrics and music, but above all in photography. This book's content resonates in the commonality we all share on our own journeys while unveiling an inside look into a world that very few experience.
Organized into three broad groups—life, love, and beauty—the book ranges over the public and private side of Keegan Allen and his world. A child of Hollywood, whose father was also an actor and his mother a painter, Keegan roams freely through that realm, photographing his fellow actors on set, behind the scenes; and recording the amazed, gleeful, sometimes weeping fans that flock to his television and career related events.
Allen also has an eye for the anonymous and the unexpected: the woman gazing dreamily from the balcony of a run-down hotel; the rifle-toting dog walker who seems to have emerged from the 19th century; the performers and denizens of Venice Beach and also the streets of New York, some of them chasing the dream of fame, others having long-since abandoned it; the little boy amid in the crowd in an enormous airport; portraits of lovers kissing on subways, in parks, and on the streets. Traveling from California to New York to Paris and back, as well as through the American west, he finds beauty in both urban and rural places: from large-scale landscapes to glimpses of light transforming what it touches.
Keegan's poems, stories, captions and musings, song lyrics, and journal pages complement the photographs on this journey. He provides an account of growing up just off the Sunset Strip, coming into his own as an actor/artist, dealing with public recognition while maintaining a very private life, falling in and out of love, and acknowledging the influence of his family, friends, fans, and loved ones.
life.love.beauty is an unusually intimate and revealing book: a delight for anyone who values photography, and a gift for the many fans who already follow Keegan's career.
Keegan's real passion comes through in both his photographs and candid story telling in this unique photo-journal.
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY DWIGHT GARNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle | NPR | The Root | The Telegraph | The Globe and Mail

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • FINALIST, PHILLIS WHEATLEY BOOK AWARD • TEJU COLE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS OF THE YEAR BY NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE

For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michael Ondaatje, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original work of fiction by Teju Cole, whose critically acclaimed debut, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications.

Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud.

A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the “yahoo yahoo” diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet café, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market.

Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life—creative, malevolent, ambiguous—and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.

In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief—originally published in Nigeria in 2007—is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa. You’ve never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole.

Praise for Every Day Is for the Thief

“A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return . . . extraordinary.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Cole is following in a long tradition of writerly walkers who, in the tradition of Baudelaire, make their way through urban spaces on foot and take their time doing so. Like Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, J. M. Coetzee, and W. G. Sebald (with whom he is often compared), Cole adds to the literature in his own zeitgeisty fashion.”—The Boston Globe
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