Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

 

So happy for Teju Cole. The author of Open City is named as one of the top 50 people who change the world in 2013.

It’s the end of the year and we are being bombarded by all sorts of lists. But there’s something unique about this particular list. I find myself drawn to the idea of  giving a shout out to “the people who changed our lives this year…Whether they made us laugh, think, act, or pause…the people in our world right now who are the prime movers.”

(c) The Verge 50

(c) The Verge 50

The list of 50 names was curated by  The Verge, a New York based news and media network. Cole’s name appears under the category of The Informer, meaning that Cole is one of those figures who influenced the creation and circulation of ideas globally in 2013.

Cole has done quite a lot in the service not just of literature in general but of African literature. His debut novel, Open City, certainly challenged our notion of what an African novel is.

From his small fates project to “A New Dictionary of Received Ideas,” Cole has done a lot to show us that Twitter can be used to produce new forms of writing.

Through the collection of small fates about Nigeria, Cole brought the everyday life of Nigerians into a global conversation against the widespread banality of violence. From the New Yorker piece on meeting Soyinka to his reflection on Koffi Awoonor’s passing, Cole put forth African literary concerns at the forefront of global literary discourse.

This is just to say that a good part of what makes Cole influential has to do with his work in promoting African literature.

Congrats Teju!

Here is what the folks at The Verge have to say about Cole.

Teju Cole, the (ready for it?) art historian, professor, novelist, essayist, editor, photographer, expert mix-maker, and creator of sublime Twitter fictions counts both Himanshu Suri of Das Racist and James Wood as fans. The Nigerian–American’s most acclaimed of Twitter projects, “Small Fates,” restyled news reports in the style of French journalist Félix Fénéon; when he isn’t doing that, the author tweets about drones and writes timely pieces of Instagram criticism. Cole broke into the mainstream with 2011’s award-winning and intensely referential Open City, the first pages of which he’s annotated on Rapgenius.com. A deep thinker and a student as much of classic literature as pop culture, Cole is proof for the Jonathan Franzens of the world that engaging with the internet doesn’t shortchange literary culture — it deepens it.

The Verge 50

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

3 Responses to “Alongside Kanye, Snowden, and Pussy Riot, Teju Cole Makes List of Top 50 People Who Changed The World in 2013” Subscribe

  1. Isiewu Johnson December 13, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    Is he a member of the iluminati

  2. Shallow Thinker December 13, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    Wow! The world is really so much better now since he got on twitter. I see the changes all around me.

  3. Theresa Doghor December 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Lol
    He does good

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

The Heart of It: Working Through Xenophobia in South Africa | Ruksana Elk

XENOPHOBIA - South African civil society and private citizens march in protest against xenophobic violence in Johannesburg. EPA-EFE and Yeshiel Panchia

READ: 15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa Talking xenophobia with South Africans of all classes […]

The Brittle Paper Interview with the Caine Prize 2019 Winner: Lesley Nneka Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah with bust of Sir Michael Caine - credit to John Cobb slash Caine Prize

In July, Lesley Nneka Arimah received the 2019 Caine Prize, the award’s twentieth edition, for her short story “Skinned,” published […]

Hollywood or Nollywood? As Americanah TV Series Goes to HBO, Actress Stella Damasus Suggests Industry Slight & Chika Unigwe Responds

danai gurira, lupita nyong'o, chimamanda adichie, stella damasus, chika unigwe

The Americanah TV series adaptation, starring Lupita Nyong’o and written by Danai Gurira, has been ordered by HBO Max. The […]

15 Pieces to Guide Your Understanding of Xenophobia in (South) Africa

xenophobia in south africa - photo by guillerme sartori for agence france press and getty images

Once again, this September, xenophobic violence was unleashed on other Africans, mostly Nigerians, in South Africa: businesses were closed, shops […]

Johary Ravaloson’s Return to the Enchanted Island Is the Second Novel from Madagascar to Be Translated into English

johary ravaloson - winds from elsewhere - graph (1)

In May 2018, we brought news of the first novel by a writer from Madagascar to be translated into English: […]

Sundays at Saint Steven’s | Davina Philomena Kawuma | Poetry

unsplash3

when god runs out of money (how, no one says) once a week, these days, we come to where the […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.