Teju Cole to publish new novel, “Tremor”, after 12-year hiatus

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Twelve years after the publication of his sophomore novel, Open City, and sixteen years after the publication of his debut novel, Every Day Is For The Thief, the Nigerian-American writer and photographer Teju Cole will be publishing his third novel, Tremor, on October 17 this year.

Tremor will be published by Penguin Random House, the American book publisher which also published Cole’s other two novels.

Like Julius of the Sebaldian Open City, the protagonist of Tremor, Tunde, is highly intellectual. Tunde spends a great deal of time thinking about history, film, and the encounters he has had, among other things. Tunde is also similar to the author in some ways: like Cole, he is a photographer and teaches at Harvard University.

Tremor, which is told from a first-person perspective, has time as its central theme. The novel’s official blurb reads thus:

“Life is hopeless but it is not serious. We have to have danced while we could and, later, to have danced again in the telling.

A weekend spent antiquing is shadowed by the colonial atrocities that occurred on that land. A walk at dusk is interrupted by casual racism. A loving marriage is riven by mysterious tensions. And a remarkable cascade of voices speak out from a pulsing metropolis.

We’re invited to experience these events and more through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man currently working as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. He is a reader, a listener, a traveler, drawn to many different kinds of stories: stories from history and epic; stories of friends, family, and strangers; stories found in books and films. Together these stories make up his days. In aggregate these days comprise a life.“

Besides his novels, Cole has also authored an essay collection, Known and Strange Things (2016), and a photobook, Punto d’Ombra (2016). He won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner for Open City in 2012.