Teju Cole Discusses Tremor with Emily Raboteau

Thu, Oct 19 2023
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Central Library, Dweck Center

author talks BPL Presents


Co-presented with Greenlight Bookstore, BPL Presents features a powerful, intimate novel that masterfully explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world—from the award-winning author of Open City.

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 speaks out from a pulsing metropolis.

We’re invited to experience these events and others through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man 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.

Tremor is a startling work of realism and invention that engages brilliantly with literature, music, race, and history as it examines the passage of time and how we mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst “history’s own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles,” but it is also a testament to the possibility of joy. As he did in his magnificent debut Open City, Teju Cole once again offers narration with all its senses alert, a surprising and deeply essential work from a beacon of contemporary literature.


Participants

Teju Cole was born in the United States in 1975 to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. His books include the novel Open City, the essay collections Known and Strange Things and Black Paper, and the experimental photo book Blind Spot. He has been honored with the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other accolades. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Cole is currently a professor of the practice of creative writing at Harvard University and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine.

 

Emily Raboteau is an essayist, novelist, memoirist, journalist, and critic. Her books include the novel The Professor's Daughter, the memoir, Searching for Zion, and the forthcoming essay collection, Lessons for Survival. Her honors include an American Book Award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Deadline Club Award in Feature Reporting, and the Climate Narratives Prize. Raboteau is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and professor of creative writing at the City College of New York, once known as "the poor man's Harvard." She lives in the Bronx.

 

BPL Presents programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

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Add to My Calendar 10/19/2023 07:00 pm 10/19/2023 08:30 pm America/New_York Teju Cole Discusses Tremor with Emily Raboteau
Co-presented with Greenlight Bookstore, BPL Presents features a powerful, intimate novel that masterfully explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world—from the award-winning author of Open City.

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 speaks out from a pulsing metropolis.

We’re invited to experience these events and others through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man 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.

Tremor is a startling work of realism and invention that engages brilliantly with literature, music, race, and history as it examines the passage of time and how we mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst “history’s own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles,” but it is also a testament to the possibility of joy. As he did in his magnificent debut Open City, Teju Cole once again offers narration with all its senses alert, a surprising and deeply essential work from a beacon of contemporary literature.


Participants

Teju Cole was born in the United States in 1975 to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. His books include the novel Open City, the essay collections Known and Strange Things and Black Paper, and the experimental photo book Blind Spot. He has been honored with the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Windham-Campbell Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other accolades. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Cole is currently a professor of the practice of creative writing at Harvard University and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine.

 

Emily Raboteau is an essayist, novelist, memoirist, journalist, and critic. Her books include the novel The Professor's Daughter, the memoir, Searching for Zion, and the forthcoming essay collection, Lessons for Survival. Her honors include an American Book Award, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Deadline Club Award in Feature Reporting, and the Climate Narratives Prize. Raboteau is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and professor of creative writing at the City College of New York, once known as "the poor man's Harvard." She lives in the Bronx.

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