- Publish Date: 2017-06-13
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Teju Cole
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.
One of Timeâs Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017 So Far
âTo 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?â
When it comes to Teju Cole, the unexpected is not unfamiliar: Heâs an acclaimed novelist, an influential essayist, and an internationally exhibited photographer. In Blind Spot, readers follow Coleâs 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 Coleâs 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 Coleâs memories, fantasies, and introspections. Ships in Capri remind him of the work of writers from Homer to Edna OâBrien; a hotel room in Wannsee brings back a disturbing dream about a friendâs death; a home in Tivoli evokes a transformative period of semi-blindness, after which âthe photography changed. . . . The looking changed.â
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.
Praise for Blind Spot
âThis lyrical essay in photographs paired with texts explores the mysteries of the ordinary. Coleâs 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.ââNew York Times Books Review (Editorsâ Choice)
âAn eye-opening exploration of the world, time, and how the two connect.ââNylon
â[Teju] Coleâs fiction and essays are incredible, unexpected, and beautiful; heâs 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.ââLisa Lucas, National Book Foundation
âOnce you get a taste of [Coleâs] writing, you can quickly (and hungrily) burn through whatâs available. Thankfully,Â Blind SpotÂ will indulge the senses by combining both of Coleâs loves in this . . . full-color collection of Coleâs photos, accompanied by his prose.ââThe Week
âMany artists have felt the lure of juxtaposing photographsÂ and text, but few have succeeded as well asÂ TejuÂ Cole. He approaches this problem with an understanding of the limitations and glories of each medium.ââStephen Shore, author of Uncommon Places
âColeâs deeply affecting work juxtaposes tragedy with hidden-in-plain-sight beauty as he embraces âpoetic possibilityâ in every scene and moment.ââBooklist Â
âMemoir meets museum catalog . . . A strange, cerebral, and very beautiful journey.ââKirkus Reviews
âThis ambitious study deserves a spot on the shelf next to Roland Barthesâs Camera Lucida and Susan Sontagâs On Photography.ââPublishers Weekly (starred review)