Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nigerian Author, Teju Cole Wins $10,000 Prize For First Novel, 'Open City'

Nigerian Author Teju Cole yesterday won this year’s Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a “distinguished” first book of fiction, for his book, Open City. The 36 year old writer and photographer, will receive $10,000 as prize money.Written in 2011, the novel, Open City, centers on "Nigerian immigrant Julius, a young graduate student studying psychiatry in New York City, has recently broken up with his girlfriend and spends most of his time dreamily walking around Manhattan. The majority of Open City centers on Julius’ inner thoughts as he rambles throughout the city, painting scenes
of both what occurs around him and past events that he can’t help but dwell on. For reasons not
altogether clear, Julius’ walks turn into worldwide travel, and he flies first to Europe, where he has an unplanned one-night stand and makes some interesting friends, then to Nigeria, and finally back to New York City. Along the way, he meets many people and often has long discussions with them about philosophy and politics. Brought up in a military school, he seems to welcome these conversations. Upon returning to New York, he meets a young Nigerian woman who profoundly changes the way he sees himself."

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