Every Day is for the Thief

Every Day is for the Thief

3.69 (3,991 ratings by Goodreads)
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A young man decides to visit Nigeria after years of absence. Ahead lies the difficult journey back to the family house and all its memories; meetings with childhood friends and above all, facing up to the paradox of Nigeria, whose present is as burdened by the past as it is facing a new future. Along the way, our narrator encounters life in Lagos. He is captivated by a woman reading on a danfo; attempts to check his email are frustrated by Yahoo boys; he is charmingly duped buying fuel. He admires the grace of an aunty, bereaved by armed robbers and is inspired by the new malls and cultural venues. The question is: should he stay or should he leave? But before the story can even begin, he has to queue for his visa. Every Day is for the Thief is a striking portrait of Nigeria in change. Through a series of cinematic portraits of everyday life in Lagos, Teju Cole provides a fresh approach to the returnee experience.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 134 x 214 x 18mm | 220g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 0571307922
  • 9780571307920
  • 181,419

Review quote

"[Teju Cole's] novels are lean, expertly sustained performances. The places he can go, you feel, are just about limitless."--"The New York Times" ""Every Day Is for the Thief, "by turns funny, mournful, and acerbic, offers a portrait of Nigeria in which anger, perhaps the most natural response to the often lamentable state of affairs there, is somehow muted and deflected by the author's deep engagement with the country: a profoundly disenchanted love. Teju Cole is among the most gifted writers of his generation."--Salman Rushdie "Crisp, affecting . . . Taking his cues from W. G. Sebald, John Berger, and Bruce Chatwin, Cole constructs a narrative of fragments, a series of episodes that he allows to resonate."--"The New York Times Book Review"" ""Remarkable . . . By the end of the novel the accumulation of experience has left both the narrator and the reader changed. . . . This is an extraordinary novel, a radiant meditation on the nature of happiness and faith, corruption, misfortune and belonging."--"San Francisco Chronicle"" " "Cole is our premier novelist of walking out the door and getting mixed up in something. . . . [He] has a knack for elevating each individual encounter into something weighty and poetic."--"The Washington Post"" " "Shimmering . . . Cole has a way of superimposing emotional landscapes over his portraits of physical places that is transcendent. "Every Day Is for the Thief" is as much as an epic journey into the heart of the traveler as the place traveled."--"The Seattle Times"" " ""Every Day Is for the Thief" is a wonderful meditation on modern African life that will help cement Cole's reputation as a prose stylist. More than that, it is a book that never fails to find a thoughtful and essential thing to say, with each of its finely crafted sentences and paragraphs offering a vision of justice and order to a people beset by so many woes."--"Los Angeles Times" "[A] tightly focused but still mashow more

About Teju Cole

Teju Cole was brought up in Nigeria and moved to the USA in 1992. He is a writer, photographer and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. His novel Open City won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction and the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in New York City.show more

Rating details

3,991 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 18% (706)
4 43% (1,716)
3 32% (1,270)
2 7% (263)
1 1% (36)
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