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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 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 "The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night."--Amitava Kumar, author of A Matter of Rats "An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value."--Pacific Northwest Magazine
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About the Author

Teju Cole is the photography critic for The New York Times Magazine. His work has been exhibited in India, Iceland, and the United States, and was the subject of a solo exhibition in Italy in 2016. He is the author of the essay collection, Known and Strange Things, as well as the novels Every Day Is for the Thief and Open City, the latter of which won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the New York City Book Award, and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His photography column at The New York Times Magazine was a finalist for a 2016 National Magazine Award, and he is the winner of the 2016 Focus Award for excellence in photographic writing.

Reviews

"Common things [are] made radiant by the quality of [Teju] Cole's looking. . . . In this new, luminous book, Cole shows himself to be really one of the best at seeing."--The Guardian "This lyrical essay in photographs paired with texts explores the mysteries of the ordinary. Cole's questioning, tentative habit of mind, suspending judgement while hoping for the brief miracle of insight, is a form of what used to be called humanism."--The New York Times Books Review (Editors' Choice)"Stunning . . . [Blind Spot] feels like the fulfillment of an intellectual project that has defined most of [Cole's] career."--Slate "Dazzling . . . cerebral yet intimate . . . combines personal essay, history, biography, journalism, and photography into a seamless package, capturing human dignity and grace through careful, clear-eyed reverence."--Vice "An eclectically brilliant distillation of what photography can do, and why it remains an important art form . . . Cole has crafted a beautifully wrought and finely blended mixture of visual and narrative art."--San Francisco Chronicle "[In] luminous prose . . . Cole has succeeded in shredding experience into tiny fragments, all of which add up to much more than the sum of their parts."--Los Angeles Times"The book, quite frankly, needs to be seen for itself. Like all great works, it defies paraphrase--it cannot be brought under the dominion of a single interpretation."--The Forward "Blind Spot is assuredly the work of an auteur, a singular talent."--The Sydney Morning Herald "An eye-opening exploration of the world, time, and how the two connect."--Nylon "Reminiscent of Julio Cortazar's Blow-Up . . . Cole expertly punctures placidity to expose concealed violence."--The New York Review of Books "Cole enables us to see the world a little more clearly than before."--The Scotsman "Cole transforms a simple travelogue format into something haunting and existential."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch "A poetic reflection on the confines of vision and knowledge."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Blind Spot is many things at once: both memoir and map of the world, both essay on photography and elegy for the lost arts of looking and seeing . . . [with texts] as succinct and enigmatic as shards from an archaeological site."--The Village Voice "Calmly incantatory and unsettlingly alert . . . the resonance of the more than 150 photographs Cole has taken and collected here is deepened for being met with such sustained and lyrical textual scrutiny, with the free forays of his capacious mind."--The Millions "I'll . . . read anything by Teju Cole, whose sharp eye when writing about photography, I find, sharpens my eye for everything else, too."--Louise Kennedy, WBUR "This lyrical essay in photographs paired with texts explores the mysteries of the ordinary. Cole's questioning, tentative habit of mind, suspending judgement while hoping for the brief miracle of insight, is a form of what used to be called humanism."--The New York Times Books Review (Editors' Choice)"Common things [are] made radiant by the quality of Cole's looking. . . . In this new, luminous book, Cole shows himself to be really one of the best at seeing."--The Guardian "An eclectically brilliant distillation of what photography can do, and why it remains an important art form . . . It shows what an extraordinarily gifted writer [Cole] is. . . . Cole has crafted a beautifully wrought and finely blended mixture of visual and narrative art. It is a chimera of thought and craft, of intellect and emotion, of the political and the personal, the historical and the contemporary."--San Francisco Chronicle "Reminiscent of Julio Cortazar's Blow-Up . . . Cole expertly punctures placidity to expose concealed violence."--The New York Review of Books "Cole transforms a simple travelogue format into something haunting and existential."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch "A poetic reflection on the confines of vision and knowledge."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Dazzling . . . cerebral yet intimate . . . Spanning six continents and several years, the elegant hardcover combines personal essay, history, biography, journalism, and photography into a seamless package, capturing human dignity and grace through careful, clear-eyed reverence."--Vice "[In] luminous prose . . . Teju Cole has succeeded in shredding experience into tiny fragments, all of which add up to much more than the sum of their parts."--Los Angeles Times"An eye-opening exploration of the world, time, and how the two connect."--Nylon "Stunning . . . [Blind Spot] feels like the fulfillment of an intellectual project that has defined most of [Teju Cole's] career."--Slate "The book, quite frankly, needs to be seen for itself. Like all great works, it defies paraphrase--it cannot be brought under the dominion of a single interpretation."--The Forward "Blind Spot is many things at once: both memoir and map of the world, both essay on photography and elegy for the lost arts of looking and seeing . . . [with texts] as succinct and enigmatic as shards from an archaeological site."--The Village Voice "Calmly incantatory and unsettlingly alert . . . the resonance of the more than 150 photographs Cole has taken and collected here is deepened for being met with such sustained and lyrical textual scrutiny, with the free forays of his capacious mind."--The Millions "I'll . . . read anything by Teju Cole, whose sharp eye when writing about photography, I find, sharpens my eye for everything else, too."--Louise Kennedy, WBUR "Cole is the real ambidextrous deal, and this new book of photographs and prose fragments confirms that he's an accomplished practitioner in both fields--also, an artful thinker about how they fit together and come apart. . . . It's a work at once of profundity and lightness--a world shuttered, wound on, begun again."--4Columns "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 places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless, ' The New York Times has said. Here, in the vein of Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, and Susan Sontag, he proves it."--The Week 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 places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless, ' The New York Times has said. Here, in the vein of Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, and Susan Sontag, he proves it."--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"Memoir meets museum catalog . . . A strange, cerebral, and very beautiful journey."--Kirkus Reviews"This ambitious study deserves a spot on the shelf next to Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida and Susan Sontag's On Photography."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)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 "Cole the photographer is watchful but he holds back. Even in the act of speaking to us, he is alert to stillness. . . . The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night."--Amitava Kumar, author of A Matter of Rats "An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value."--Pacific Northwest Magazine 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 places [Teju Cole] can go, you feel, are just about limitless, ' The New York Times has said. Here, in the vein of Anne Carson, Claudia Rankine, and Susan Sontag, he proves it."--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"Memoir meets museum catalog . . . A strange, cerebral, and very beautiful journey."--Kirkus ReviewsPraise 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 "Cole the photographer is watchful but he holds back. Even in the act of speaking to us, he is alert to stillness. . . . The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night."--Amitava Kumar, author of A Matter of Rats "An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value."--Pacific Northwest Magazine 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 "Cole the photographer is watchful but he holds back. Even in the act of speaking to us, he is alert to stillness. . . . The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night."--Amitava Kumar, author of A Matter of Rats "An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value."--Pacific Northwest Magazine 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 ofGhana Must Go Cole the photographer is watchful but he holds back. Even in the act of speaking to us, he is alert to stillness. . . . The images are imbued with their own lasting mystery. Like magical poems that leave brief traces of light on the fingers of a reader who is now alone in the middle of the night. Amitava Kumar, author ofA Matter of Rats An observer and truth-seeker of the highest order . . . Cole has trained himself well in the art of seeing bottomless richness in things normally taken at face value. Pacific Northwest Magazine"

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