259pp., paperback, First UK Edition, London, 2011
First published in the USA in 2011.
Winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction.
"This year, literary discovery came, for me, in the form of Teju Cole’s debut novel, Open City, a deceptively meandering first-person narrative about a Nigerian psychiatry resident in New York. The bonhomous flâneur who strolls Manhattan from top to bottom, reveals, in the course of his walking meditations, both more about the city and about himself than we – or indeed he – could possibly anticipate. Cole writes beautifully; his protagonist is unique; and his novel, utterly thrilling." Clare Messud in the Globe and Mail
“As well as being an excellent novel about spatial relations ... and layers of urban history and immigrant experience, Open City is a novel about an intellectual show-off ... Part of the delight of Cole's book is how it exploits refinement until Julius reveals himself as a poseur through intellectual over-reaching, disclosing an irony for which readers may not be prepared." Giles Foden, Guardian
“Open City is not a loud novel, nor a thriller, nor a nail-biter. What it is is a gorgeous, crystalline and cumulative investigation of memory, identity, and erasure. It gathers its power inexorably, page by page, and ultimately reveals itself as nothing less than a searing tour de force. Teju Cole might just be a W.G. Sebald for the twenty-first century." Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector
Teju Cole was born in the United States in 1975 and raised in Nigeria. He is the author of the novella Every Day Is for the Thief, the collection of essays Known and Strange Things and the photobook Blind Spot. He has won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the New York City Book Award, and the Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction. His photography has been widely exhibited, and he was the Photography Critic of The New York Times Magazine. He is Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.