authors | June 06, 2013

Teju Cole Wins the 2013 International Literature Prize For Open City

Congratulations are in order for culture speaker Teju Cole: He just won the 2013 International Literature Prize for his book, Open City! He beat out 130 other foreign-language titles for the honor. Both he, and Christine Richter-Nilsson (who translated his work to German) will share the award. Presented to him by Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the award honors both an exceptional book and its first translation into German.

Here's what the jury had to say about Cole's work:

"Cole’s finely honed, rhythmic prose generates a vortex that grips and subsumes the reader. His book captivates through the existential earnestness and truthfulness of the narrator, who records the conflicts of the globalized world without resorting to cultural clichés."

In Open City, Cole "side-steps all the old clichés on a cool-eyed tour of a wounded New York City," DW writes. "Cole's calm, precise language references these great literary icons without ever being passé." Open City has received an overwhelmingly positive response. It won Cole the PEN/Hemingway Award, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named as one of the best books of 2011 by the New Yorker, The New York Times, and Time Magazine. He was also listed as one of New York's 100 Most Important Living Writers by Flavorwire. His speeches, like his writing, are articulate and grand explorations of the way we live and the connections we make with the people and places around us.