Teju Cole

A Brief and Incomplete Survey of New Types of Online Literature

Last week, T Magazine published a game of exquisite corpse featuring a selection of excellent fiction writers, from Jenny Offill and James Patterson to Zadie Smith and Ben Marcus. The game was light and refreshing; the story itself twists into absurdity as some of the authors — notably the insidious R.L. Stine — appear to be pranking their peers and sort of hacking the plot as it grows. I found the form of the story simple but genuinely interesting, so I decided to pool together this chronology (or survey) of recent developments in digital or online literary forms. This is by no means a comprehensive list, nor is it meant to be. (I have, though, included some print projects that derive their form from digital media.) But it could be a starting point for a broader discussion about new literary forms, especially those new types of fiction (and criticism) that are popping up, rapidly, on Twitter and elsewhere. … Read More

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The 35 Writers Who Run the Literary Internet

The debate as to whether the Internet is good or bad for literature doesn’t seem any closer to resolution now than when it began, years ago, but the fact remains that some people in the literary world are excellent at using social media and other platforms to communicate with readers and get people interested in what they’re writing. Some are young authors, others are firmly established. Some are publishing industry veterans or new media superstars, others command small armies via their Tumblrs. Whatever it is they do on the Internet, these 35 people do it better than anybody else in the book… Read More

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8 More African-Born Writers You Should Be Reading

Fiction can be a revealing window into cultures that are unfamiliar to us — and reading the work of an author who lives in another country or was born across the world from us can elucidate a different point of view. Whether it be a country’s political situation, the lexicon, the history, or the people, immersing oneself in the fiction of a specific nation, region, or even an entire content can provide an opportunity to better understand other places and experiences. And, as a recent New York Times article noted, this is an especially great time for literature from Africa and by authors who were born there: … Read More

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2014’s 10 Best Works of Fiction So Far

The first half of the year has been filled with great books, largely by young or debut authors (as well as familiar names like Lydia Davis). From Helen Oyeyemi to Kyle Minor, these authors’ 2014 offerings come with the promise of decades-long careers to come, and bode well for the future of… Read More

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10 Beach-Ready Book and Music Pairings

Are hotter temperatures keeping you inside with your paperback and vinyl libraries, or outside on the beach with your iPod and headphones? Either way, for those of you still searching for things to read and listen to, we present this season’s round of appropriate musical selections to accompany summer books new and old. … Read More

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25 Books That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About New York

Although the middle of the country is our best hope for the future of American literature, it’s impossible to deny that New York City has inspired some of our greatest writers and books. A few of them, like the ones listed here, do an especially excellent job of summing up the experience of living in this wonderful, crazy, and always-changing city. These 25 books, no matter when they came out, explore themes that will surely resonate with those of us who make our home in the five boroughs, and provide a snapshot of life here for those who… Read More

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‘Every Day Is for the Thief': Teju Cole’s Photographic Writing

Teju Cole’s writing bears a resemblance to photography and art, but that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise — Cole is actually a photographer, as well as an art historian. That background plays heavily into his work. Cole’s craft as a writer comes from being an acute observer and having an understanding of art — attributes that are rarely discussed these days, when it seems like all anybody talks about is whether you should live in New York or chase an MFA. … Read More

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The Best Things We Read on the Internet This Week: Teju Cole’s Twitter Essay, Hispanic Hardcore

Listicles, tweets, your ex’s Facebook status, picture of dogs wearing costumes — the internet offers no shortage of entertaining stuff to look at. But there’s plenty of substantial writing out there, too, the pieces you spend a few minutes reading and a long time thinking about after you’ve closed the tab. In this weekly feature, Flavorwire shares the best of that category. This time around, Teju Cole does something awesome on Twitter (again), the Hispanic contribution to New York City Hardcore, and much more. … Read More

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10 Must-Read Books for March

As we hopefully begin to thaw out from what has been a very long winter, March offers up enough great books to help us get through what should be (but, I mean, who knows these days?) the last truly rough days of winter. No matter what happens, the month offers plenty to look forward to: great debut novels, follow-ups to new classics, true crime as memoir, a new chance to get into an author you should have been reading all along, and a novelist’s… Read More

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50 Books That Define the Past Five Years in Literature

Five years ago this month saw the publication of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 in English. The book topped almost every year-end list and signaled a shift in literary tastes, creating larger audiences for works in translation, historical storylines, and narrative complexity. Between the uncertain future of the publishing industry, the rise of indie presses, new literary magazines, and the Internet and ereaders, the years that followed were bittersweet for the book industry but also a unique and fruitful time for readers. The following 50 books provide several clues as to why that is, and also give a glimpse into the future of… Read More

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