Every Day Is for the Thief is Teju Cole’s second book. He wrote it in 2006, after writing Open City the same year. The former was published in Nigeria in 2007, long before the March 25, 2014 release here in the U.S. I received an Advance Reader Copy of the book via NetGalley and was able to read the book before the U.S. release.
I attended Cole’s author event on the day of the book release. He described the novel as a disenchanted love story (with Lagos). And I agree. No need to try and top his description of his own work.
I love that this book is written in first person. The main character travels from New York to Lagos, his home, after having been away for over 10 years. I felt like I was there. It was as if the narrator was carrying a video camera. I had to remind myself that I was reading fiction.
|Nothing but love for Michael Eric Dyson.|
The narrator, a well rounded individual, speaks to so many aspects of Lagos upon his return. Even though much is the same, his new perspective makes things look different. He thoughtfully details the events that are unfolding before him as he makes his way around the city. Violence, corruption, politics, infrastructure, and religion are only a few of the topics that are captured.
This was an engaging read. There were places I laughed, places I shook my head with disapproval, and places I paused in shock. As Cole was reading from the novel, there was laughter and nods from the audience as well.
|Surely you knew Professor Dyson would have something to add!|
As much as I loved this book, it did not make me want to go to Lagos. When I asked Cole what he would say to balance out this characters portrayal of the city, this was part of his response: I wouldn’t say anything to balance out the narrator’s portrayal.The problem isn’t with telling negative stories. The problem is with telling stories that are not true. Just like you said you would never want to go, someone has the opposite response. The book makes them want to experience Lagos.
Affiliate LinksEvery Day Is for the Thief: Fiction on Amazon
Open City: A Novel on Amazon