Every Day Is for the Thief Author:Teju Cole Fifteen years is a long time to be away from home. It feels longer still because I left under a cloud. — — A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hopin... more »g to find inspiration for his own. He witnesses the “yahoo yahoo” diligently perpetrating email frauds from an Internet café, longs after a mysterious woman reading on a public bus who disembarks and disappears into a bookless crowd, and recalls the tragic fate of an eleven-year-old boy accused of stealing at a local market.
Along the way, the man reconnects with old friends, a former girlfriend, and extended family, taps into the energies of Lagos life—creative, malevolent, ambiguous—and slowly begins to reconcile the profound changes that have taken place in his country and the truth about himself.
In spare, precise prose that sees humanity everywhere, interwoven with original photos by the author, Every Day Is for the Thief—originally published in Nigeria in 2007—is a wholly original work of fiction. This revised and updated edition is the first version of this unique book to be made available outside Africa.« less
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I chose to read this novella having visited northern Nigeria and having lived next door (Niger) for three years. The author was born in the USA but raised in Nigeria so he is bicultural as is the narrator of the book. I kept checking to see if this work was categorized as fiction as it reads as a cultural analysis/travel memoir of the author rather than fiction. Whatever it is, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. At times, I chuckled, smiled, and felt moments of pity, sadness, and anger. The narrator would endure a hellish experience and then turn around and witness the human spirit rising above tragedy. And so Nigerian unfolded. The issue of corruption was dealt with before the narrator even left New York as he had to "grease the palms" of those in the Nigerian consulate before leaving the USA. Regarding this topic and many others, the author shows us what it means to try to navigate two cultures.