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The Resource Every day is for the thief : fiction, Teju Cole, with photos by the author

Every day is for the thief : fiction, Teju Cole, with photos by the author

Label
Every day is for the thief : fiction
Title
Every day is for the thief
Title remainder
fiction
Statement of responsibility
Teju Cole, with photos by the author
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"Visiting Lagos after many years away, Teju Cole's unnamed narrator rediscovers his hometown as both a foreigner and a local. A young writer uncertain of what he wants to say, the man moves through tableaus of life in one of the most dynamic cities in the world: he hears the muezzin's call to prayer in the early morning light, and listens to John Coltrane during the late afternoon heat. He witnesses teenagers diligently perpetrating e-mail frauds from internet cafes, longs after a woman reading Michael Ondaatje on a public bus, and visits the impoverished National Museum. Along the way, he reconnects with old school friends and his family, who force him to ask himself profound questions of personal and national history. Over long, wandering days, the narrator compares present-day Lagos to the Lagos of his memory, and in doing so reveals changes that have taken place in himself. Just as Open City uses New York to reveal layers of the narrator's soul, in Every Day is for the Thief the complex, beautiful, generous, and corrupt city of Lagos exposes truths about our protagonist, and ourselves"--
Member of
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • After living in America for 15 years, a Nigerian writer returns to his homeland. Reunited with a beloved aunt, with whom he stays, he reconnects with a boyhood friend, now a struggling doctor, and visits the woman who was his first love, now married with a daughter, as he contemplates staying in Lagos. But he is struck by the omnipresent corruption, as officials at all levels, including police and soldiers, supplement often meager wages with bribes. He sees thieving “area boys” all around, Internet-scamming “yahoo yahoo” in cyber cafés, a jazz shop practicing piracy, and a national museum gone to ruin, its artifacts ill-maintained and its historical presentations inaccurate. Yet in addition to scoring high in corruption, Nigeria’s claim to fame is that it is the most religious country in the world and its people the happiest. This novella, a revised version of the first book written by Nigerian Cole, author of the acclaimed Open City (2011), is a scathing but loving look at his native land in measured, polished prose. -- Leber, Michele (Reviewed 04-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 16, p14)
  • Novelist Cole's Open City brought him international attention, but this novel, first published in Nigeria and now currently being republished in the U.S. and the U.K., was actually his first. Set in contemporary Lagos, Nigeria, the novel follows a nameless narrator's visit to his homeland after a lengthy stay in the United States. Estranged from his mother and unemotional about his father's death, the protagonist seeks his humanity and redemption in art. Cole's crisp language captures how Lagos—the home of numerous Internet scams and frequent power cuts—possesses a violence that both disgusts his protagonist and fascinates him. With journalism-like objectivity, Cole by way of his narrator details a Nigeria that is violent and corrupt, but also multi-cultural and alive. This pared-down writing style comes at the cost of character development. (For example, the narrator's training as a psychiatrist is never really explored.) As a result, the novel reads more like a beautiful work of creative nonfiction. The structure is loose, a collection of observances of daily life in Lagos in which Cole presents the complexities of culture and poverty. In addition, Cole sprinkles dramatic black-and-white photos throughout the book, but it's his willingness to explore so many uncomfortable paradoxes that sears this narrative into our brains. Agent: Andrew Wylie, The Wylie Agency. (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed April 14, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 15, p)
  • In Cole's masterly 2011 debut, Open City , a PEN/Hemingway Prize winner and National Book Critics Circle finalist that received best book recognition from nearly two dozen publications, a Nigerian immigrant ambles reflectively through the streets of Manhattan. In this new work, an unnamed Nigerian writer who has returned home ambles reflectively through the streets of Lagos and discovers a grand, passionate city. As John Coltrane's music blends with the muezzin's call to prayer, the narrator sees a woman reading Michael Ondaatje and teenagers behaving illegally on the Internet, even as he talks to old friends and relatives as he tries to find his way. Open City was a distinctive and mesmerizing work, troublesome for some readers but a decided and exciting step ahead in the use of narrative, and readers will be anticipating. With a five-city tour. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed October 1, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 18, p59)
  • A Nigerian living in the U.S. finds corruption, delight and ghosts on a return visit to Lagos in this rich, rougher-edged predecessor to Cole's celebrated debut novel (Open City, 2011). First published in Nigeria in 2007, this novella records the unnamed narrator's impressions of the city he left 13 years earlier. His observations range from comic to bitterly critical, playing off memories of growing up in Lagos and his life abroad. Cole paints brisk scenes that convey the dangers and allure of the "gigantic metropolis" in prose that varies from plain to almost poetic to overwrought. The narrator says a woman holding a book by Michael Ondaatje "makes my heart leap up into my mouth and thrash about like a catfish in a bucket." Bribe-hungry police, a vibrant street market, perilous bus rides, brazen home invaders: From the locally commonplace emerge sharp contrasts with the West. Coming to the market, for instance, he recalls an 11-year-old boy burned alive for petty theft. In the city's many new Internet cafes, a "sign of the newly vital Nigerian economy," teens write emails to perpetrate the "advance fee fraud" for which the country has become infamous. The returnee laments the dilapidation and skewed historical record of the National Museum before admiring the world-class facilities of the Musical Society of Nigeria Centre. It's a graphic contrast that billboards questions bedeviling the narrator: Why did I leave? Should I return for good? What have I gained? Or lost? Such an exile's catechism could serve with slight variations the many displaced people Cole writes of in the "open city" of New York. And as with the novel, the influence of W.G. Sebald arises again here, not least in Cole's addition of photographs that are much like the novella's prose: uneven yet often evocative.(Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2014)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10281864
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Cole, Teju
Dewey number
823/.92
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR9387.9.C67
LC item number
E84 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Nigerians
  • Homecoming
  • Reunions
  • Life change events
  • Identity (Psychology)
  • New York (N.Y.)
  • Nigeria
Target audience
adult
Label
Every day is for the thief : fiction, Teju Cole, with photos by the author
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"Originally published in Nigeria by Cassava Republic Press, in 2007"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First U.S. Edition.
Extent
162 pages
Isbn
9780812995787
Isbn Type
(hardcover : acid-free paper)
Lccn
2014004326
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • 870211217
  • (OCoLC)870211217
Label
Every day is for the thief : fiction, Teju Cole, with photos by the author
Publication
Note
"Originally published in Nigeria by Cassava Republic Press, in 2007"--Title page verso
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First U.S. Edition.
Extent
162 pages
Isbn
9780812995787
Isbn Type
(hardcover : acid-free paper)
Lccn
2014004326
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • 870211217
  • (OCoLC)870211217

Library Locations

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      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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