In this innovative synthesis of words and images, the award-winning author of Open City and photography critic for The New York Times Magazine combines two of his great passions.
“To look is to see only a fraction of what one is looking at. Even in the most vigilant eye, there is a blind spot. What is missing?”
When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: He’s an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Cole’s inimitable artistic vision into the visual realm as he continues to refine the voice, eye, and intellectual obsessions that earned him such acclaim for Open City.
Here, journey through more than 150 of Cole’s full-color, original photos, each accompanied by his lyrical and evocative prose, forming a multimedia diary of years of near-constant travel: from a park in Berlin to a mountain range in Switzerland, a church exterior in Lagos to a parking lot in Brooklyn; landscapes, beautiful or quotidian, that inspire Cole’s memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna O’Brien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friend’s death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which “the photography changed. . . . The looking changed.”
As exquisitely wrought as the work of Anne Carson or Chris Marker, Blind Spot is a testament to the art of seeing by one of the most powerful and original voices in contemporary literature.
Advance praise for Blind Spot
“[Teju] Cole’s fiction and essays are incredible, unexpected, and beautiful; he’s also a spectacular photographer. His first collection of photographs, each image accompanied by his stunning prose, promises to show us the world through his eyes, which always seem to see things in a brilliant new light.”—Lisa Lucas, National Book Foundation
“Once you get a taste of [Cole’s] writing, you can quickly (and hungrily) burn through what’s available. Thankfully, Blind Spot will indulge the senses by combining both of Cole’s loves in this . . . full-color collection of Cole’s photos, accompanied by his prose.”—The Week
“Many artists have felt the lure of juxtaposing photographs and text, but few have succeeded as well as Teju Cole. He approaches this problem with an understanding of the limitations and glories of each medium.”—Stephen Shore, author of Uncommon Places
Praise for Teju Cole
“The places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless.”—The New York Times
“[Cole is] one of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing.”—LA Times
“There’s almost no subject Cole can’t come at from a startling angle. . . . His [is a] prickly, eclectic, roaming mind.”—The Boston Globe
“To read, see, and travel with him is to be changed by the questions that challenge him.”—Publishers Weekly
“In following [Cole’s] wanderings, I have often a sense of beholding something more delicate . . . but also more ordinary and more heartbreaking than the eye can typically bear. [His] photographs . . . insist on intimacy, transparency, confrontation.”—Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go