Winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for a distinguished first book of fiction
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
"Reminiscent of the works of W.G. Sebald, this dreamy, incantatory debut was the most beautiful novel I read this year--the kind of book that remains on your nightstand long after you finish so that you can continue dipping in occasionally as a nighttime consolation." -Ruth Franklin, "The New Republic"
"A psychological hand grenade." -Alexis Madrigal, "The Atlantic," Best Books I Read This Year
"A meditative and startlingly clear-eyed first novel." -"Newsweek"/Daily Beast Writers' Favorite Books 2011
"This year, literary discovery came, for me, in the form of Teju Cole's debut novel, "Open City," a deceptively meandering first-person narrative about a Nigerian psychiatry resident in New York. The bonhomous flaneur who strolls Manhattan from top to bottom, reveals, in the course of his walking meditations, both more about the city and about himself than we - or indeed he - could possibly anticipate. Cole writes beautifully; his protagonist is unique; and his novel, utterly thrilling." -Clare Messud in the" Globe and Mail"
"On the surface, the story of a young, foreign psychiatry resident in post-9/11 New York City who searches for the soul of the city by losing himself in extended strolls around teeming Manhattan. But it's really a story about a lost nation struggling to regain a sense of direction after that shattering, disorienting day 10 years ago. A quiet, lyrical and profound piece of writing." -"Seattle Times," 32 of the Year's Best Books
"[Open City is] lean and mean and bristles with intelligence. The multi-culti characters and streets of New York are sharply observed and feel just right...Toward the end, there's a poignant, unexpected scene in a tailor's shop that's an absolute knockout." -Jessica Hagedorn, author of Toxicology in Salon.com "Writers choose their