Bite-size Review: Open City | Teju Cole

AFRIKULT.’S OVERALL RATING: 

Open City | Teju Cole

Exquisitely executed, Cole offers a fresh voice and talent to the African literature scene. His debut novel Open City presents an insight into a young Nigerian doctor who encounters and recollects conversations that he had with strangers and patients. Each conversation reveals meditation of history, social class, culture and the individual experience. Written in an eloquent and incisive style, Cole invites the reader to contemplate on the discussions and meditations at hand, and how these conversational/meditational topics have led the protagonist, Julius to Brussels, leaving the Nigeria of his youth, and finally settling in New York City (where he currently resides). But most intriguingly, Julius’s meditative strolls through the city also act as a psychological examination of the intersection of the self and space. Open City is a simple and compelling read.

(Recommend 2012 Faber and Faber paperback edition)

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