known and strange things essays

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Known And Strange Things

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780571328079
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 77. 9 MB
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A blazingly intelligent first collection of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. With these pieces on politics, photography, travel, history and literature - many of which have become viral sensations, shared and debated around the globe - Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people and historical moments. Cole tells of his engagement with Virginia Woolf through her diaries, before reflecting on an episode of temporary blindness in New York. He looks at the rise of Instagram and interrogates the value of its images. He examines the transition of the candidate Obama, the avid reader, into a 'forever-war' president on the global stage. Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole's wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames. 'A book written with a scalpel, a microscope, and walking shoes, full of telling details and sometimes big surprises.' Rebecca Solnit

Known And Strange Things

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780812989793
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 62. 67 MB
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A blazingly intelligent first book of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • The Guardian • Harper's Bazaar • San Francisco Chronicle • The Atlantic • Financial Times • Kirkus Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay and PEN/Jean Stein Book Award With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today’s most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram. Cole brings us new considerations of James Baldwin in the age of Black Lives Matter; the African American photographer Roy DeCarava, who, forced to shoot with film calibrated exclusively for white skin tones, found his way to a startling and true depiction of black subjects; and (in an essay that inspired both praise and pushback when it first appeared) the White Savior Industrial Complex, the system by which African nations are sentimentally aided by an America “developed on pillage.” Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole’s wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames. Praise for Known and Strange Things “On every level of engagement and critique, Known and Strange Things is an essential and scintillating journey.”—Claudia Rankine, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice) “A heady mix of wit, nostalgia, pathos, and a genuine desire to untangle the world, or at the least, to bask in its unending riddles.”—The Atlantic “Brilliant . . . [Known and Strange Things] reveals Cole’s extraordinary talent and his capacious mind.”—Time “[Known and Strange Things] showcases the magnificent breadth of subjects [Cole] is able to plumb with . . . passion and eloquence.”—Harper’s Bazaar “[Cole is] one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.”—LA Times “Cole has fulfilled the dazzling promise of his novels Every Day Is for the Thief and Open City. He ranges over his interests with voracious keenness, laser-sharp prose, an open heart and a clear eye.”—The Guardian “Remarkably probing essays . . . Cole is one of only a very few lavishing his focused attention on that most approachable (and perhaps therefore most overlooked) art form, photography.”—Chicago Tribune “There’s almost no subject Cole can’t come at from a startling angle. . . . His [is a] prickly, eclectic, roaming mind.”—The Boston Globe “[Cole] brings a subtle, layered perspective to all he encounters.”—Vanity Fair “In page after page, Cole upholds the sterling virtue of good writing combined with emotional and intellectual engagement.”—The New Statesman “[Known and Strange Things possesses] a passion for justice, a deep sympathy for the poor and the powerless around the world, and a fiery moral outrage.”—Poets and Writers

Known And Strange Things

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780812989786
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 27. 51 MB
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Consists of various essays some previously published in various journals and periodicals on art, literature, and politics.

Against Everything

Author : Mark Greif
ISBN : 9781101871164
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 52. 77 MB
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A brilliant collection of essays by a young writer who is already a star in the intellectual firmament. As William Deresiewicz has written in Harper’s Magazine, “[Mark Greif ] is an intellectual, full stop . . . There is much of [Lionel] Trilling in Greif . . . Much also of Susan Sontag . . . What he shares with both, and with the line they represent, is precisely a sense of intellect—of thought, of mind—as a conscious actor in the world.” Over the past eleven years, Greif has been publishing superb, and in some cases already famous, essays in n+1, the high-profile little magazine that he co-founded. These essays address such key topics in the cultural, political, and intellectual life of our time as the tyranny of exercise, the tyranny of nutrition and food snobbery, the sexualization of childhood (and everything else), the philosophical meaning of Radiohead, the rise and fall of the hipster, the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the crisis of policing. Four of the selections address, directly and unironically, the meaning of life—what might be the right philosophical stance to adopt toward one’s self and the world. Each essay in Against Everything is learned, original, highly entertaining, and, from start to finish, dead serious. They are the work of a young intellectual who, with his peers, is reinventing and reinvigorating what intellectuals can be and say and do. Mark Greif manages to reincarnate and revivify the thought and spirit of the greatest of American dissenters, Henry David Thoreau, for our time and historical situation. From the Hardcover edition.

Signposts In A Strange Land

Author : Walker Percy
ISBN : 9781453216378
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 45. 79 MB
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A captivating collection of writings on Southern life by one of the masters of American literaturePublished just after Walker Percy’s death, Signposts in a Strange Land takes readers through the philosophical, religious, and literary ideas of one of the South’s most profound and unique thinkers. Each essay is laced with wit and insight into the human condition. From race relations and the mysteries of existence, to Catholicism and the joys of drinking bourbon, this collection offers a window into the underpinnings of Percy’s celebrated novels and brings to light the stirring thoughts and voice of a giant of twentieth century literature.

Every Day Is For The Thief

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780812995794
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 78. 76 MB
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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 café, 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.

Open City

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780571279449
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 79. 48 MB
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'The past, if there is such a thing, is mostly empty space, great expanses of nothing, in which significant persons and events float. Nigeria was like that for me: mostly forgotten, except for those few things that I remembered with outsize intensity.' Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor doing his residency wanders aimlessly. The walks meet a need for Julius: they are a release from the tightly regulated mental environment of work, and they give him the opportunity to process 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. A haunting novel about national identity, race, liberty, loss, dislocation, and surrender, Teju Cole's Open City seethes with intelligence. Written in a clear, rhythmic voice that lingers, this book is a mature, profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our world.

The Selfishness Of Others

Author : Kristin Dombek
ISBN : 9780374712549
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86. 93 MB
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They're among us, but they are not like us. They manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal. They are irresistibly charming and accomplished, appearing to live in a radiance beyond what we are capable of. But narcissists are empty. No one knows exactly what everyone else is full of--some kind of a soul, or personhood--but whatever it is, experts agree that narcissists do not have it. So goes the popular understanding of narcissism, or NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). And it's more prevalent than ever, according to recent articles in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Time. In bestsellers like The Narcissism Epidemic, Narcissists Exposed, and The Narcissist Next Door, pop psychologists have armed the normal with tools to identify and combat the vampiric influence of this rising population, while on websites like narcissismsurvivor.com, thousands of people congregate to swap horror stories about relationships with "narcs." In The Selfishness of Others, the essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.

Blind Spot

Author : Teju Cole
ISBN : 9780399591082
Genre : Photography
File Size : 42. 51 MB
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In this innovative synthesis of words and images, the award-winning author of Open City and photography critic for The New York Times Magazine combines two of his great passions. “To look is to see only a fraction of what one is looking at. Even in the most vigilant eye, there is a blind spot. What is missing?” When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: He’s an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City. Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s full-color, original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which “the photography changed. . . . The looking changed.” As exquisitely wrought as the work of Anne Carson or Chris Marker, Blind Spot is a testament to the art of seeing by one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary literature. Advance praise for Blind Spot “[Teju] Cole’s fiction and essays are incredible, unexpected, and beautiful; he’s also a spectacular photographer. His first collection of photographs, each image accompanied by his stunning prose, promises to show us the world through his eyes, which always seem to see things in a brilliant new light.”—Lisa Lucas, National Book Foundation “Once you get a taste of [Cole’s] writing, you can quickly (and hungrily) burn through what’s available. Thankfully, Blind Spot will indulge the senses by combining both of Cole’s loves in this . . . full-color collection of Cole’s photos, accompanied by his prose.”—The Week Praise for Teju Cole “The places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless.”—The New York Times “[Cole is] one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.”—LA Times “There’s almost no subject Cole can't come at from a startling angle. . . . His [is a] prickly, eclectic, roaming mind.”—The Boston Globe “To read, see, and travel with him is to be changed by the questions that challenge him.”—Publishers Weekly “In following [Cole’s] wanderings, I have often a sense of beholding something more delicate . . . but also more ordinary and more heartbreaking than the eye can typically bear. [His] photographs . . . insist on intimacy, transparency, confrontation.”—Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go “The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night.”—Amitava Kumar, author of A Matter of Rats “An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value.”—Pacific Northwest Magazine

Proxies

Author : Brian Blanchfield
ISBN : 9781937658526
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 70. 75 MB
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Past compunction, expressly unbeholden, these twenty-four single-subject essays train focus on a startling miscellany of topics - Foot Washing, Dossiers, Br'er Rabbit, Housesitting, Man Roulette, the Locus Amoenus - that begin to unpack the essayist himself and his life's rotating concerns: sex and sexuality, poetry and poetics, subject positions in American labor (not excluding academia), and his upbringing in working-class, Primitive Baptist, central-piedmont North Carolina. In Proxies an original constraint, a "total suppression of recourse to authoritative sources," engineers Brian Blanchfield's disarming mode of independent intellection. The "repeatable experiment" to draw only from what he knows, estimates, remembers, and misremembers about the subject at hand often opens onto an unusually candid assessment of self and situation. The project's driving impulse, courting error, peculiar in an era of crowd-sourced Wiki-knowledge, is at least as old as the one Montaigne had when, putting all the books back on the shelf, he asked, "What do I know?"

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