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Biography of Teju COLE

Nigeria > Literature : Teju COLE

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Born on 27/06/1975 (format : day/month/year)

Biography :

Teju Cole born June 27, 1975, is Nigerian-American writer, art historian, street photographer.

Teju Cole was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1975, but grew up in Lagos with his parents from Nigeria. He returned to the USA in 1992, for him »a country of which I had been a citizen my whole life, and yet it was a country I only knew from hearsay, and which I am still figuring out«, as he said in an interview with the »New Yorker«.

In 2007 his novella »Every Day is for the Thief« hit the market. 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. Cole’s first novel »Open City» (2011) also reflects the writer’s own background. Julius, the first-person narrator of the book, is a fellow at a research centre, and strolls through the streets of New York. He is the silent observer, who explores the city by walking it, and appropriates it in his own way. In the inner monologues of the urban wanderer the reader learns more about his childhood in Lagos, and his isolation and alienation in the USA. Cole’s prose is marked by eloquence, deliberateness and sensitive perception

»Open City« received the prestigious Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award.

Cole writes for various newspapers and literary magazines, including the »New York Times«, »Qarrtsiluni« and »Tin House«. He teaches at the Columbia, Hofra and New York University, and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Bard College, New York. The writer, who is also a passionate street photographer, will show his pictures in an exhibition called »Fire Script« in Panaji, India, in December 2012. Cole lives in Brooklyn, New York.



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Last update : 09/17/2012

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