The Palestine Festival of Literature was established in 2008 by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Brigid Keenan, Victoria Brittain and Omar Robert Hamilton. Bringing writers to Palestine from all corners of the globe, it aimed to break the cultural siege imposed by the Israeli military occupation, to strengthen artistic links with the rest of the world, and to reaffirm, in the words of Edward Said, "the power of culture over the culture of power."
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of PalFest, This Is Not a Border is a collection of essays, poems, and sketches from some of the world's most distinguished artists, responding to their experiences at this unique festival. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, their gathered work is a testament to the power of literature to promote solidarity and hope in the most desperate of situations.
Contributing authors include J. M. Coetzee, China Miéville, Alice Walker, Geoff Dyer, Claire Messud, Henning Mankell, Michael Ondaatje, Kamila Shamsie, Michael Palin, Deborah Moggach, Mohammed Hanif, Gillian Slovo, Adam Foulds, Susan Abulhawa, Ahdaf Soueif, Jeremy Harding, Brigid Keenan, Rachel Holmes, Suad Amiry, Gary Younge, Jamal Mahjoub, Molly Crabapple, Najwan Darwish, Nathalie Handal, Omar Robert Hamilton, Pankaj Mishra, Raja Shehadeh, Selma Dabbagh, William Sutcliffe, Atef Abu Saif, Yasmin El-Rifae, Sabrina Mahfouz, Alaa Abd El Fattah, Mercedes Kemp, Ru Freeman.
NAMED A BEST BOOK ON MORE THAN TWENTY END-OF-THE-YEAR LISTS, INCLUDING The New Yorker • The Atlantic • The Economist • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The New Republic • New York Daily News • Los Angeles Times • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Minneapolis Star Tribune • GQ • Salon • Slate • New York magazine • The Week • The Kansas City Star • Kirkus Reviews
A haunting novel about identity, dislocation, and history, Teju Cole’s Open City is a profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world.
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.
“[A] prismatic debut . . . beautiful, subtle, [and] original.”—The New Yorker
“A psychological hand grenade.”—The Atlantic
“Magnificent . . . a remarkably resonant feat of prose.”—The Seattle Times
“A precise and poetic meditation on love, race, identity, friendship, memory, [and] dislocation.”—The Economist
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Time • The Guardian • Harper's Bazaar • San Francisco Chronicle • The Atlantic • Financial Times • Kirkus
Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and PEN/Jean Stein Book Award
With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today’s most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram. Cole brings us new considerations of James Baldwin in the age of Black Lives Matter; the African American photographer Roy DeCarava, who, forced to shoot with film calibrated exclusively for white skin tones, found his way to a startling and true depiction of black subjects; and (in an essay that inspired both praise and pushback when it first appeared) the White Savior Industrial Complex, the system by which African nations are sentimentally aided by an America “developed on pillage.”
Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole’s wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames.
Praise for Known and Strange Things
“On every level of engagement and critique, Known and Strange Things is an essential and scintillating journey.”—Claudia Rankine, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)
“A heady mix of wit, nostalgia, pathos, and a genuine desire to untangle the world, or at the least, to bask in its unending riddles.”—The Atlantic
“Brilliant . . . [Known and Strange Things] reveals Cole’s extraordinary talent and his capacious mind.”—Time
“[Known and Strange Things] showcases the magnificent breadth of subjects [Cole] is able to plumb with . . . passion and eloquence.”—Harper’s Bazaar
“[Cole is] one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.”—LA Times
“Cole has fulfilled the dazzling promise of his novels Every Day Is for the Thief and Open City. He ranges over his interests with voracious keenness, laser-sharp prose, an open heart and a clear eye.”—The Guardian
“Remarkably probing essays . . . Cole is one of only a very few lavishing his focused attention on that most approachable (and perhaps therefore most overlooked) art form, photography.”—Chicago Tribune
“There’s almost no subject Cole can’t come at from a startling angle. . . . His [is a] prickly, eclectic, roaming mind.”—The Boston Globe
“[Cole] brings a subtle, layered perspective to all he encounters.”—Vanity Fair
“In page after page, Cole upholds the sterling virtue of good writing combined with emotional and intellectual engagement.”—The New Statesman
“[Known and Strange Things possesses] a passion for justice, a deep sympathy for the poor and the powerless around the world, and a fiery moral outrage.”—Poets and Writers
One of Time’s Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017 So Far • Shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards
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 full-color 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. Cole’s questioning, tentative habit of mind, suspending judgement while hoping for the brief miracle of insight, is a form of what used to be called humanism.”—The New York Times Books Review (Editors’ Choice)
“Stunning . . . [Blind Spot] 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
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
“Crisp, affecting . . . Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Hugely rewarding . . . both a celebration of one of the world’s most vibrant cities and a lament over what can be one of the most frustrating and difficult places to live. It is also a story of family breakup and an uneasy homecoming—the narrator has been away for fifteen years and must relearn how to navigate a place that was once home.”—NPR
“[Every Day Is for the Thief has] a restraint that allows [Cole] to slip in these exquisitely rendered observations on life, love, art that leave you feeling richer and more attuned to your own reality once you’ve finished reading.”—Dinaw Mengestu, The Atlantic
From the Hardcover edition.
Med romanen Öppen stad fick Teju Cole sitt internationella genombrott och blev en av vår tids mest angelägna röster. Essäboken Kända och underliga ting återspeglar Teju Coles passion för människan och hennes värld. Med texter om litteratur, fotografi , historia och politik dyker han ner i ämnen som James Baldwin och Virginia Woolf, Tomas Tranströmer och W. G. Sebald, Barack Obama och Black Lives Matter. Med en förmåga att vara nyanserad och stridbar på samma gång håller Cole fram en värld full av komplexitet och motsägelser, skönhet och fara.
Teju Cole är författare, fotograf och konsthistoriker. Han fick sitt internationella genombrott med den prisbelönta romanen Öppen stad som kom ut på svenska 2013. Två år senare utkom romanen Varje dag är tjuvens dag. Teju Cole bor i Brooklyn, New York.
Öppen stad handlar om Julius, en ung doktorand i psykiatri som tillbringar sin lediga tid till fots på New Yorks gator. På ytan är boken en berättelse om en ung främling bosatt i New York efter 9/11. Men det är också en intellektuellt, politiskt, och litterärt utmanade roman om vår tids stora frågor. En sociologisk och på samma gång meditativ undersökning av New York och dess historia, av människorna i Julius liv och hans barndomsminnen från Nigeria.
Här finns ”yahoo yahoo”, de unga män som skickar spammejl över hela världen, en gammal kärlek, korrumperade poliser och tjuvar.
För det här är också en bok om tjuvar. Om kolonialtidens djupa sår, om en stat som stjäl från sina medborgare, om ropet som ljuder över marknadsplatsen, ”Tjuv!” och vad en mobb är kapabel till.
Varje dag är tjuvens dag är en liten bok med stor sprängkraft. Teju Cole rör sig blixtsnabbt mellan det lilla och det stora och ger en fascinerande inblick i ett Nigeria som nu förändras snabbt.
Teju Cole (född 1975 i USA, uppvuxen i Nigeria) fick sitt internationella genombrott med flanörromanen Öppen stad, som kom på svenska 2013. Cole är författare, fotograf och konsthistoriker.