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Teju Cole

35th annual Key West Literary Seminar

Revealing Power: The Literature of Politics
January 12–15, 2017

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 two 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 Known and Strange Things, a collection of essays on art, literature, and politics. His photography has been exhibited in India, Iceland, and the United States, published in a number of journals, and will be the subject of a solo exhibition in Italy in April 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

Known and Strange Things (2016) 
Open City (
2012)
Every Day is for the Thief (2007)

Online Resources

Teju Cole’s website
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

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