Prominent Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole has another book on the way titled Tremor which will explore the life of a West African photographer and his encounters with violence in many forms. The book will be published by Random House on October 17, 2023.
The novel is welcome news for fans who have had to wait through six non-fiction books since his debut novel Open City came out in 2011.
Tremor tells the story of Tunde, a Nigerian photographer teaching at a renowned New England University like Harvard. From what we can glean from the synopsis, Tunde spends a good bit of his time reflecting on history, storytelling, intimacies, encounters, film, etc. The publisher describes the work as a “powerful, wide-ranging novel that masterfully explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world.”
The main focus of Tremor is time itself, as the novel examines the passage of time and how humans mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst “history’s own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles,” but also a testament to the possibility of joy amidst violence.
In terms of genre, Tremor is mostly realist with a good dose of literature, music, race, history, and more. Much like his debut novel Open City, Cole uses first-person to guide the reader into the strange, inner lives of his character.
Read the synopsis below:
Life is hopeless but it is not serious. We have to have danced while we could and, later, to have danced again in the telling.
A weekend spent antiquing is shadowed by the colonial atrocities that occurred on that land. A walk at dusk is interrupted by casual racism. A loving marriage is riven by mysterious tensions. And a remarkable cascade of voices speak out from a pulsing metropolis.
We’re invited to experience these events and more through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man currently working as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. He is a reader, a listener, a traveler, drawn to many different kinds of stories: stories from history and epic; stories of friends, family, and strangers; stories found in books and films. Together these stories make up his days. In aggregate these days comprise a life.
Teju Cole is a Nigerian-American writer and photographer. He has published a novella Every Day Is for the Thief (2007), a novel Open City (2011), an essay collection Known and Strange Things (2016), and a photobook Punto d’Ombra (2016) which was published in English as Blind Spot in 2017. He won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for Open City in 2012.
Congrats to Cole on the new book! Stay tuned for more details.