Synopses & Reviews
A haunting novel about national identity, race, liberty, loss, dislocation, and surrender, Teju Cole’s Open City
seethes with intelligence. It is a profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world.
Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor doing his residency wanders aimlessly, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. Though he is navigating the busy parts of town, the impression of countless faces does nothing to assuage his feelings of isolation. But it is not only a physical landscape he covers; Julius crisscrosses social territory as well, encountering people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey — which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.
“An indelible debut...a compassionate and masterly work." The New York Times Book Review
"Magnificent...the trip is as meaningful as the destination. Open City is a remarkably resonant feat of prose." The Seattle Times
"A reader feels the density of [Julius’s] mind but also the fragility of his identity." Los Angeles Times
"[A] prismatic debut...beautiful, subtle, [and] original." The New Yorker
About the Author
Teju Cole was raised in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1992. He is a writer, photographer, and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. Open City is his first novel. He lives in New York City.