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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Teju Cole Narrator: Peter Jay Fernandez Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For readers of J. M. Coetzee and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Every Day Is for the Thief is Teju Cole’s second novel, following his critically acclaimed debut, Open City, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and named one of the best books of the year by more than twenty publications.

“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, hoping 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, Every Day Is for the Thief is a wholly original amalgamation of fiction, memory, art, and travel writing. Originally published in Nigeria in 2007, this revised and updated edition is the first time this unique book has been available outside Africa. You’ve never read a book like Every Day Is for the Thief because no one writes like Teju Cole.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Every Day Is for the Thief is a testament to [Nigeria’s] power to inspire.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “Rich imagery and sharp prose…widely praised as one of the best fictional depictions of Africa in recent memory.”

    New Yorker

  • “[Teju Cole] casts a spell that’s hard to classify…Open City earned its author comparisons to the German writer W. G. Sebald, whose work wanders and ruminates in a similar way.”

    New York Times

  • Every Day Is for the Thief is unapologetically a novel of ideas: a diagnosis of the systemic corruption in Cole’s native Lagos and of corruption’s psychological effects. But, remarkably, the book avoids any the chunkiness that usually accompanies such work. Emotional and intellectual life are woven too tightly together. The ideas make the character and vice versa.”

    New Republic

  • “Excellently crafted.”

    Huffington Post

  • “A wonderful meditation on modern African life that will help cement Cole’s reputation as a prose stylist. More than that, it is a book that never fails to find a thoughtful and essential thing to say, with each of its finely crafted sentences and paragraphs offering a vision of justice and order to a people beset by so many woes.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Remarkable…A luminous rumination on storytelling and place, exile and return…This is an extraordinary novel, a radiant meditation on the nature of happiness and faith, corruption, misfortune, and belonging.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A vivid, lyrical, and critical novel in which a man returns to his native Nigeria after years away and learns new truths about himself…Cole’s prose is as intoxicating as before, his narrator’s curiosity infectious, and his depiction of Lagos, a city where ‘life hangs out,’ stunning.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Bracingly cool and introspective—and gorgeously written…Cole has a way of superimposing emotional landscapes over his portraits of physical places that is transcendent. Every Day Is for the Thief is as much as an epic journey into the heart of the traveler as the place traveled.”

    Seattle Times

  • “[Cole] revels in ambiguity, taking inspiration from authors who have toyed with what a novel can be, like W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee and V. S. Naipaul…There is a touch of Alfred Kazin and Joseph Mitchell—two of the most observant walkers in [New York City’s] history—in his books’ open-eyed flaneurs.”

    New York Observer

  • “In this arresting audiobook, which carries the authority of memoir while providing the insights and satisfactions of fiction, a young Nigerian doctor returns to Lagos after an absence of fifteen years…The ambiguity of the book’s genre leaves narrator Peter Jay Fernandez with subtle choices. Is he creating drama or delivering reportage? He hits it exactly right, presenting each sentence with careful attention, as if each one is illuminating his experience of the world, as it is for the protagonist. And so also for the reader. A fascinating listen.”


  • Longlisted for the 2015 PEN Literary Award
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About the Author
Author Teju Cole

Teju Cole was raised in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1992. He is a writer, photographer, and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. He lives in New York City.