Every Day Is for the Thief

Every Day Is for the Thief

Fiction

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
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NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY DWIGHT GARNER, THE NEW YORK TIMES * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY San Francisco Chronicle | NPR | The Root | The Telegraph | The Globe and Mail

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * FINALIST, PHILLIS WHEATLEY BOOK AWARD * TEJU COLE WAS NAMED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS OF THE YEAR BY NEW AFRICAN MAGAZINE

For readers of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Michael Ondaatje, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original work of fiction by Teju Cole, whose critically acclaimed debut, Open City, was the winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications.

Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud.

A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the "yahoo yahoo" diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet caf#65533;, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market.

Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life--creative, malevolent, ambiguous--and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.

In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief --originally published in Nigeria in 2007--is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa. You've never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole.

Praise for Every Day Is for the Thief

"A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return . . . extraordinary." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Cole is following in a long tradition of writerly walkers who, in the tradition of Baudelaire, make their way through urban spaces on foot and take their time doing so. Like Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, J. M. Coetzee, and W. G. Sebald (with whom he is often compared), Cole adds to the literature in his own zeitgeisty fashion." --The Boston Globe

"Crisp, affecting . . . Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Hugely rewarding . . . both a celebration of one of the world's most vibrant cities and a lament over what can be one of the most frustrating and difficult places to live. It is also a story of family breakup and an uneasy homecoming--the narrator has been away for fifteen years and must relearn how to navigate a place that was once home." --NPR

"[ Every Day Is for the Thief has] a restraint that allows [Cole] to slip in these exquisitely rendered observations on life, love, art that leave you feeling richer and more attuned to your own reality once you've finished reading." --Dinaw Mengestu, The Atlantic



From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Pub., 2014.
ISBN: 9780812995794
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 electronic text : ill.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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u
uncommonreader
Oct 22, 2015

Cole returns to Nigeria from New York City after a 15 year absence and comments on changes in Nigeria and in himself.

q
Qwfwq
Aug 08, 2015

I was a little disappointed that this book was not quite at the level as Cole's first novel Open City, which took a similar approach of a narrator giving impressions and revealing memories as he wanders around a city. But while Open City added a few plot elements which played off this charming, introspective background to almost shocking effect, Every Day does not. In some ways this makes sense, as this book was largely written before Open City, and has simply been reworked and published after it. The writing is less assured and Cole stumbles a couple of times when trying to transition through time in his narration, making it seem like this indeed is his first novel.

Still there are scenes of great power and the descriptions and observations are often quite startling. One hopes that Cole's talent is still developing, because if so then the next book should be amazing.

l
luzeng
Dec 21, 2014

Stunningly relatable to anyone who's gone home to Beijing or Bangalore and realized that they no longer have the bribe-muscles to live there.

b
bookwormjeph
Jul 27, 2014

An excellent read giving enormous insight into how the economy functions in Nigeria, the basis of which is the art of palm greasing, whether it be an 'early' xmas present or a direct bribe.
the story is of a Nigerian man who has lived in New York for many years but returns home and is shocked , but not surprised in a way, the level, extent and overtness of corruption at all levels of society. He attempts to rail against it at first but finds his principles compromised when renewing his passport. A touching, sad, but also uplifting tale of the reality of life in some countries- as Nigeria is not the only country to operate under such largesse.

m
mclarjh
Mar 27, 2014

Matter of fact storytelling, more a memoir or travelogue than a novel. The book is dotted with instantly forgettable photographs by the author.

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