Teju Cole

Teju Cole, photo by Tim Knox

Teju Cole is a writer, art historian, and photographer. He is the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College and photography critic for the New York Times Magazine.

Cole was born in the United States in 1975 to Nigerian parents and raised in Nigeria. He lives in Brooklyn and is the author of three books. His novella, Every Day is for the Thief, was named a book of the year by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Telegraph, and shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award. His novel, Open City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature.

Cole has contributed to the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Granta, among other magazines. His forthcoming book is Blind Spot, an innovative synthesis of more than 150 full-color original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel.

His photography has been exhibited in India, Iceland, and the United States, published in a number of journals, and was the subject of a solo exhibition in Italy in 2016. He has lectured widely, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design to Twitter headquarters, and gave the 2014 Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University. He was awarded the 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction.


selected bibliography

Blind Spot by Teju Cole
Blind Spot (2017)
Known and Strange Things (2016)
Open City (2011)
Every Day is for the Thief (2007)

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online resources

Teju Cole’s website
Cole’s Known and Strange Things review in the New York Times
Ishion Hutchinson and Teju Cole in Conversation
Cole interviewed on Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon
Open City reviewed in the New Yorker by James Wood

Video: Teju Cole at the NYS Writers Institute