We experience life as a continuity, and only after it falls away, after it becomes the past, do we see its discontinuities. 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 an outsize intensity.
from Open City by Teju Cole
It seems to me now, that to hear anything about this book before reading it would be to profoundly change your experience of it. Perhaps this is true of all books, but I think it is especially so here.
So, don’t think of this as a review, don’t even think of it as my thoughts on the book; just think of someone pressing it into your hands, someone pointing you in its direction.
What more can I say, without saying anything, to help you know that it’s the book for you? You might know that you have to read Teju Cole, as I did, by reading this. Or you might want to feel as I did when I closed it: profoundly shaken, complicit, knowing that I too had not got away unscathed.
And when you’ve read Open City, this interview with Teju Cole is brilliant. (But note that it contains spoilers.)