A candid tale of political and spiritual corruption from the author of international bestseller Open City.
A young man returns to Nigeria after fifteen years in New York. Like him, his childhood country has grown up quickly: found fast-food restaurants, email caf s, contempt for authority; the all-consuming draw of money for nothing.
From the consulate in Manhattan to the dusty streets of Lagos, life in modern Nigeria runs like clockwork - as long as you pay the fee. A bribe for the visa clerk, a 'Christmas gift' at immigration, cash - no receipt - at the unofficial tollbooth. Petrol pumps are rigged to overcharge and internet caf s overflow with career scammers, but the police are too busy doling out bogus fines to care. In a country routinely plundered of its oil and ancient treasures, who is to say who can thieve and who can't?
As our narrator makes the difficult journey back to his family house and its memories, he is confronted by the paradox of a country he wants to love, as burdened by its impoverished past as it is blinded by the spoils of the future.
Teju Cole was brought up in Nigeria and moved to the USA in 1992. He is a writer, photographer and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. His novel Open City won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York City Book Award for Fiction and the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Ondaatje Prize of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives in New York City.
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