“The author annotates his own photography with short essays that read like prose poetry,” says TIME, which placed TEJU COLE’s Blind Spot alongside Ariel Levy’s The Rules Do Not Apply on its Best of 2017 So Far list. That’s one way to describe the book. Former United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinksy describes it another way: “It’s a book about human culture.” (New York Times Book Review)
“The point here is not the exotic but its opposite: mysteries of the ordinary, attained in patiently awaited, brief flashes. In other words, this is a book about human culture.”
— Robert Pinsky, The New York Times
Blind Spot seems to probe the same lofty question that Teju Cole’s abundantly praised debut novel, Open City did. That is, what can we know about the world? And a comprehensive Guardian profile released to celebrate the launch of Blind Spot assures us Cole’s up to the task of answering it. “He’s a writer for our times. Prodigious, wide-ranging, and supremely confident in his reach.”
In the profile, Cole speaks to his ambitions for the book, which is made up of 150 photos from around the world and paired with his lyrical prose: “I want every single page to be in opposition to that reductive, simplistic, unanalytic view of the world,” he says. “This is a time for protest and activism for sure, but it is also a time for subtlety, ambiguity and complexity.” Born in the United States but raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Cole’s eye will always carry that elusive distinction. He is both inside and outside at once; belonging and not belonging; capable of extracting the kinds of uncommon insights on the ordinary or overlooked that can transform how you think.