Every Day Is For The Thief
by Teju Cole
Visiting Lagos after many years away, Teju Cole’s unnamed narrator rediscovers his hometown as both a foreigner and a local. Over long, wandering days, the narrator compares present-day Lagos to the Lagos of his memory, and in doing so reveals changes that have taken place in himself.
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About Every Day Is For The Thief
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.
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Teju Cole was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. His mother taught French and his father was a business executive who exported chocolate. The first book he read at six was an abridgment of Tom Sawyer. At fifteen he published cartoons regularly in Prime People, Nigeria’s version of Vanity Fair. Two years later he moved to the United States.
Since then, he has spent most of his time studying art history, except for an unhappy year in medical school. He currently lives in Brooklyn.