Teju Cole IMG_3566 Martin Lengemann 1-2
(c) Martin Lengemann

Known and Strange Things hits the stands in about 2 months. Teju Cole’s die-hard fans have been waiting for this books for four years and are delighted that come August 9, the wait will be over.

Known and Strange Things is a collection of more than 50 short essays that touches on everything from Boko Haram to Virginia Woolf. Teju is a fiction writer, but in the past few years, he has made a name for himself as a master essayist. This book is his attempt to assemble these essays—and other brand new pieces— in a grand collected volume.

The first review of the collection is out and calls the book  “a bold, honest, and controversially necessary read.”

In the May 15th issue, Kirkus Review issued a few statements on the collection, essentially telling readers to expect essays written in “poetically entrancing sentences” and addressing a wide range of hot-button issues.

In his first work of nonfiction, Cole (Every Day Is for the Thief, 2015, etc.) crafts an anthological book of reflections divided into four parts: “Reading Things,” “Seeing Things,” “Being Here,” and “Epilogue.” Without much warning, readers are immediately thrown into the current issues that punctuate the news, social media, and the literary community. Acclaimed as both photographer and art theorist, Cole uses short essays to communicate fundamental ideas about his craft. Read more here.

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All in all, they are calling Known and Strange Things “a striking collection of essays that will leave readers wanting to reimagine [the] contemporary environment.”

A treat for lovers of contemporary African writing!

Congrats to Cole for the new book. We can’t wait to read it.

Preorder here.

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Post image by Martin Lengemann via Penn Humanities Forum